Wales needed a shoot-out to beat Ghana in their placing match as the women’s hockey campaign ended in dramatic fashion on Thursday.
Tina Evans fired home from a penalty corner with less than seven minutes left to tie the game 1-1 in normal time.
But Wales’ greater experience told in the shoot-out with Ghana failing to convert their first four attempts with keeper Rose Thomas making two fine stops.
Sian French and Sarah Jones had converted their one-on-ones with the Ghana stopper and though Evans missed hers, it was enough
The result left Wales in ninth spot – matching their seeding going into the tournament at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre.
Ghana, ranked 30 in the world six places below Wales, had taken the lead against the run of play in the third period through Serwaa Boakye.
Wales should have wrapped up the game in normal time as they out-shot their African opponents 18-5 but had been unable to convert their first three penalty corners until Evans smashed home.
Evans said: “We had a lot of possession and a lot of circle play but it was just connecting up the last pass really.
“One of our game plans was short plays, one-twos and we were doing that until the last section.
“It’s one of those things and sometimes you just have to keep working the ball and trying to get over the line in the end.
“It was not the prettiest, but we got there in the end.
“My goal was probably one of the only corners we executed right. We kept on breaking down at the top of the circle.
“We do have quite threatening Penalty Corners but we just had a few issues with them today. They are normally pretty good.
“We have done a bit of practice around shoot-outs and what it’s like in the environment and a pressurised situation.
“But Rose our goalie was phenomenal and won that for us, so fantastic.”
Wales had opened their campaign a week ago with a stunning victory over higher-ranked India and it would have been a disappointing end had they not seen off Ghana.
Midfielder Jones said: “It’s the wonder of sport to beat one of the top teams and then struggle with the lower teams.
“Ghana have improved over the tournament and it felt like the crowd was with them today.”
Skipper Leah Wilkinson was forced off for a second game in the tournament after bravely taking a nasty blow to the face.