In a battle of champions, the defending Olympic champions England overpowered defending Asian Games champions Korea to take the last quarter final spot in the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup in London on Tuesday. The win gives the host the right to challenge the defending champions the Netherlands in the quarter finals.
The line up for quarter finals is : Germany vs Spain and Australia vs Argentina (August 1), the Netherlands vs England and Ireland vs India (August 2).
The England-Korea match, the last of CrossOver games, witnessed pulsating hockey. The Koreans gamble of substituting goalkeeper with an additional attacker in the last three minute proved counter productive as they conceded the second goal a minute before the final whistle. The second goal took away whatever little fight left in the Asian games champions.
With Korea’s defeat, it was also end of challenge for three of four Asian teams in the 2018 World Cup. Earlier, India beat Italy 3-0 to keep the Asian flag aloft in the competition.
A goal from the goalmouth melee by Sophie Bray in the ninth minute was challenged by Korea. The Video Referee, however, upheld the decision of the ground umpire.
Even after one goal down, the Koreans continued to take the battle to the opponents territory with some excellent moves. The English goalkeeper, Maddie Hinch, however, did not budge and kept the Koreans at bay.
With one goal lead, England continued to defy the Koreans in the second half. As the game was nearing its end, Korea took out goalkeeper to step up its efforts for an equaliser. But it was not to be as Maddie Hinch was in command. And with a minute to go a long pass and run down the right flank saw Lily Owsley finding the empty goal for England’s second goal to show the door to the defending Asian games champions Korea.