England beats Belgium 3-2 at field hockey WCup
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Iain Lewers scored on a penalty shot in the 66th minute to give England a 3-2 victory over Belgium and a place in the semifinals at the men’s field hockey World Cup tournament on Monday.
A draw in the Group A game would have been enough for Belgium to go through, but England survived a second half onslaught to advance. England will almost certainly face hosts The Netherlands in the semifinals.
“We defended absolutely brilliantly,” England’s best player Nick Catlin said. “Today defense won the game.”
Belgium opened the scoring in the 13th minute through Thomas Briels but Catlin leveled the score in the 19th, shooting from a meter inside the circle.
England went ahead in the 39th, on another Catlin shot which Ashley Jackson met at the right post and deflected into the top of the net.
With just seven minutes to play, Belgium made it 2-2 on Tanguy Cosyn’s drag-flick and the pressure was back on England. Referees called a penalty for England, and Lewers finished it cleanly into the corner.
“In the second half we were really better, we were in control,” Belgium’s Elliot van Strydonck said. “But we missed our shots and at this level you cannot miss.”
In other matches, Group A leader Australia beat India 4-0, but lost captain Mark Knowles to a neck injury. Spain beat Malaysia 5-2 in the same group.
In the women’s World Cup tournament, Australia was held to a 0-0 draw against New Zealand. That eliminated New Zealand, and was enough for Australia to advance to the semifinals — once Group A winner The Netherlands beat South Korea 3-0 later in the day.
In the Australia match, both sides had good chances to score in the first half, but Australia’s Emily Hurtz had a goal disallowed and Krystal Forgesson’s shot went wide for New Zealand.
Australian striker Jodie Kenny said afterward her side is playing well, and she’s looking forward to facing the United States or Argentina in the semifinals.
“We just need to score and we’ll be all right,” Kenny said.
In other women’s games, Japan drew 2-2 against Belgium.