England, South Africa cause a flutter

England upset China 1-0 while South Africa pulled off a shock 2-1 victory over Spain in the women's hockey World Cup here on Tuesday. Host Argentina edged out South Korea 1-0 in another encounter.

Hannah MacLeod's goal in the second minute, when she pushed home a rebound off Crista Cullen's penalty corner flick, helped England score maximum points in its Pool ‘B' match.

In the second half, China controlled the midfield and had more than 15 shots on goal, but England goalkeeper Beth Storry effected 10 saves — three in a single flurry — to keep China at bay.

“We won it in the first half,” England coach Danny Kerry said. “In the second, our quality showed as we had some really good tackles in the circle. Beth made some great saves with China throwing everything but the kitchen sink at us.”

China coach Kim Sang Ryul agreed that England defended well in the second half. “The players could not score in the second half because the England defenders were very strong. But, I am happy with the way my players performed,” Kim said.

Long wait ends

South Africa won its first World Cup match in eight years, having last won in 2002 at Perth against Ukraine in a classification match. “I'm confident we will be winning again here and not in another eight or 10 years,” South Africa coach Giles Bonnet said.

South Africa scored first through Pietie Coetzee, who won a penalty corner when she was stopped in the circle. She converted it with a rocket flick low to the left, the ball deflecting into the goal off Spain goalkeeper Maria Lopez de Eguilaz.

Spain survived three more penalty corners as Coetzee sent her shots wide twice and one high flick was saved by Maria.

Nuria Camon scored Spain's equaliser just before the break, flicking high into the goal from an acute angle off the team's second penalty corner.

South Africa dominated the contest in the second half and Sulette Damons put the issue beyond doubt, deflecting home Kelly Madsen's pass. Spain appealed to the video umpire that Damons' stick was above her shoulder when she connected but the appeal was disallowed.

Spanish coach Pablo Usoz regretted his team's inability to score off penalty corners.

“South Africa controlled most of the match and while we had five penalty corners, we still could not take advantage of the chances,” Usoz said.

South Korea held Argentina scoreless in the first half despite four penalty corner opportunities for the host.

Luciana Aymar created Argentina's only goal of the match, beating two defenders and shooting into the pads of Moon Young Hui before Carla Rebecchi slammed home the rebound.

“It was a great win, the best win,” Argentina coach Carlos Retegui said.

Korea put the Argentine defence under pressure in the final five minutes but the host held on. In the next set of matches, India faces Australia, The Netherlands meets New Zealand and Germany plays Japan.

The results:

South Africa 2 (Coetzee 21, Damons 61) bt Spain 1 (Camon 31).

England 1 (MacLeod 2) bt China 0.

Argentina 1 (Rebecchi 45) bt South Korea 0.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 10:54:01 AM |

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