Seven-up England set for Canada clash
PUBLISHED: 07:51 21 June 2017 | UPDATED: 07:51 21 June 2017
England’s men will face Canada for a place in the 2018 World Cup at the Olympic Park’s Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre on Thursday evening (8pm).
A 7-2 win over Korea, inspired by four goals from Sam Ward, made it 19 goals in four matches unbeaten for England at the Hockey World League semi-final event and sent the hosts through to the last eight.
The winners of that match will face the Netherlands or Pakistan in Saturday’s semi-final.
Chris Griffiths was denied by the Korean goalkeeper early on, before Ward opened the scoring with a clever deflection at the near post from Henry Weir’s right-wing cross.
England doubled their lead in the second quarter, with a classic three-man move that saw David Ames release Liam Sanford, who picked out Ward to tee up Ames for a strike high into the net.
Korea hit back before half time with a penalty corner drag flick from Jonghyun Jang and they were back on terms after the restart when Daeyeol Lee’s hit from the top of the D was deflected in.
England regained the lead when Ward netted his fifth goal of the tournament, hammering a reverse stick strike into the roof of the net, and he soon completed his treble, lifting the ball over the keeper after Harry martin held off four Korean defenders to set up the chance.
Needing to win by eight clear goals to top their pool above Argentina, England removed keeper George Pinner for an extra outfield player.
And they scored three more times in the closing stages as co-captain Phil Roper helped himself to a brace and Ward notched his fourth of the night, to the delight of the home crowd.
A five-goal winning margin might not have been enough to clinch first place, but England will still go into the knockout stages with plenty of confidence as they look to secure their place in next year’s finals in India.
Scotland will face Korea in the ninth-place play-off on Thuesday (11am) after a 1-1 draw with Canada in their last group match, while the there other quarter-final ties see Argentina take on Pakistan (1.15pm), India meet Malaysia (3.30pm) and the Netherlands face China (5.45pm).
Tickets for quarter-finals day start at £22.50 for adults and £7.50 for under-18s and allow access to all five games on the day.