NEW DELHI, Oct 11, 2010 (AFP) - Captain Madonna Blyth scored the winner as defending champions Australia downed a fighting England 1-0 here on Monday to make it to the final of the Commonwealth Games women's hockey.
The Aussies, ranked number six to England's five, will meet the winner of the second semi-final between New Zealand and South Africa to be played later in the day.
The teams seemed to be going through the motions in a goal-less first half as they struggled to come to terms with the stifling heat at the Major Dhyan Chand stadium.
England earned the first penalty corner of the match two minutes from the breather and another one a minute later but failed to convert either with Aussie goal-keeper Rachael Lynch up to the task.
Australia were lucky to get their only goal when Blyth's strike hit the stick of a team-mate and stumbled into the goal in the 38th minute.
England had no such luck though with striker Nicola White missing the chance to score from a close range inside the 'D' in the 43rd minute.
England, the World Cup bronze medallists and the highest ranked team in the competition, were also done in by a dogged show from the Australian defenders, led by an alert Casey Eastham.