South Korea topped a group containing Britain, Iceland and Slovenia ©Getty Images

Italy, South Korea and Poland are through to the final round of women's ice hockey qualifying for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

The Italians went unbeaten on home ice to top a four-team group in Torre Pellice and advance to within three matches of the Winter Games.

Their progression was not all plain sailing and Italy fell behind against Kazakhstan in the final match - but rallied to win 2-1.

A 7-0 thrashing of Chinese Taipei and 4-1 victory versus Spain helped Italy to the maximum nine points.

Poland, also playing on home ice in Bytom, began the group by demolishing Turkey 12-0. 

An 8-1 win over Mexico set up a winner-takes-all showdown with the Dutch - who scored 30 goals in their first two games.

A three-goal third period saw Poland win 3-2 and advance.

The group in Nottingham in Britain was a tight affair, with three sides ending on six points.

A unified Korean women's hockey team played at Pyeongchang 2018 ©Getty Images
A unified Korean women's hockey team played at Pyeongchang 2018 ©Getty Images

South Korea suffered their first defeat in the final game, falling 1-0 to the British hosts, but advanced by virtue of having the best head-to-head record between the pair and Slovenia.

South Korea had earlier beat Slovenia 3-0, while Britain lost 2-1 to Slovenia.

Iceland lost to all three.

South Korea advance to Group E, so will face France, Slovakia and Sweden next month.

Italy will play Germany, Denmark and Austria.

The Czech Republic, Hungary and Norway await the Poles.

Those groups will be played in Sweden, Germany and the Czech Republic.