Australia’s women have battled their way into the inaugural Pro League final after a thrilling 4-3 shootout victory over Argentina in the Netherlands.
The Hockeyroos were deadlocked 1-1 after full-time against the two-time world champions, who beat them twice in the round-robin play, first 1-0 in Sydney in March and then in a penalty shootout in Buenos Aires last month.
Julieta Jankunas took the lead in the first quarter for Argentina on Thursday when she turned and shot smartly past Aussie goalkeeper Rachael Lynch.
The Hockeyroos managed to draw level in the second quarter, however, when Jodie Kenny’s flick from a penalty corner was fortuitously deflected home.
Two tense quarters after the turnaround failed to produce an outright winner, sending the match into a penalty shoot-out, which was decided on sudden death after Rosie Malone slotted her second shot and then keeper Lynch denied the Argentinians to put Australia through.
Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin said: “Gutsy performance from the girls and exciting to play in the final of the inaugural FIH Pro League.
“We are looking forward to another challenge.”
Australia will now play either Germany or reigning world champions Netherlands, who meet later on Thursday in the other semi-final.
The Pro League, set up by the International Hockey Federation, has replaced the Hockey World League and also acts as qualification for the World Cup and Olympics.