Saturday’s fixtures at the World University Games included Great Britain thrashing Colombia and Ireland dramatically defeating hosts Chinese Taipei.
Colombia had suffered two double-figure defeats in the group stage, so Team GBR would have been confident of winning through to the play-off for ninth spot.
Lucy Quinn and Chloe Dixon scored in quick succession to put the Brits 2-0 up inside 20 minutes, Laura Torres Rojas then contributing an own-goal before Quinn doubled her tally.
Rojas did score at the right end after the interval, although GB then ran away with it as Annabel Johnson and Rhema Lord-Mears netted before Dixon completed the scoring at 7-1 with her second.
Also in the placement matches for positions 9 to 12, Ireland fell behind after 31 minutes to Yen Ping Chen’s effort for Chinese Taipei.
That was how the scores remained until Jetta Berrill popped up with the equaliser in the penultimate minute, sending the tie straight to a penalty shoot-out.
The Irish then profited on penalties by five to three to set up a clash with the British on Monday (ko 1.30pm UK time). Claire Walsh, Berrill, Rhianna Jarrett, Clare Kinsella and Amber Barrett all converted, while Amanda Budden saved a spot-kick.
USA to face South Korea for fifth
USA were effectivaly through to the play-off final for fifth spot by the interval, when they already led Mexico 5-1.
Madison Irwin’s early goal was added to by an Emily Bruder four-minute brace, with Jessica Ayersa and Kavita Battan taking the score to 4-0. Daniela Solis and Maria Pina Gomez got a couple of consolation goals in reply.
A second shoot-out of the day saw South Korea beat Canada 4-3 after a goalless draw, whose last two penalties were saved by Ga Eun Yoo.
Brazil and Japan go for gold
Brazil took a 29th-minute lead in their semi-final with Russia through Giovanna De Oliveira and proved sufficient to earn them a crack at the gold medal.
Japan made a great start against South Africa, netting twice in the opening 13 minutes through Arisa Matsubara and Satsuki Miura. Chihira Yamaguchi sealed a final berth for the Japanese with a second-half brace.
South Africa and Russia will now contest the bronze medal on Monday.
Pictured – Ireland squad training (thirdlevelfootball.ie)