England Women finish fourth in the World Hockey League Finals as Netherlands take Gold
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South Korea defeated England 1-0 in a tight bronze medal match in Auckland before the Netherlands comfortably beat hosts New Zealand in the final.
The World League Finals, which serves as the last major tournament before the World Cup in London next July, was a competition England were expected to perform well in.
England started the tournament poorly with consecutive defeats to Germany (2-0) and Argentina (1-0) in the group stages. Dan Kerry’s side redeemed themselves with a resounding 4-1 victory over China, with goals from captain Alex Danson, Sophie Bray, Hannah Martin and Sarah Haycroft granting the team a quarter-final fixture against the USA.
A complete performance from England saw them overcome a strong USA side 2-1 in the quarter-finals. England's Alex Danson’s fine stick skills down the left wing allowed her to drive down the byline before squaring the ball to Sophie Bray who converted from a yard out. The lead was doubled when University of Birmingham’s Olivia Paige made a superb run down the righthand-side finding Bray, unmarked in the D who lifted the ball into the
Today we didn’t win the game, but we did win in other ways. Sometimes these are the greatest wins a team can have, they take you to where you want to go.— Alex Danson (@AlexDanson15) 26 November 2017
Congratulations Korea, NZ and Holland and thank you Auckland for having us. #HWL2017ِ #onwards #WeareOne pic.twitter.com/NmJM6PvpRs
At the semi-final
In a bronze medal match against South Korea, the lowest ranked side in the tournament, England found themselves a goal down early on when a short corner was slipped left allowing Kim Jongeun to strike the ball into the net.
The Women's Hockey World Cup schedule has been announced and England will be in action on
“Having the sport back on home soil next year with the World Cup is very exciting. We’re looking forward to it and it should be a great tournament.”
England will be placed in pool b alongside the USA (whom England defeated 2-1 three days ago), Asian champions India and Ireland.