Commonwealth Games 2018: England 3 India 4
PUBLISHED: 18:04 11 April 2018 | UPDATED: 18:04 11 April 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
England's men face a tough semi-final against hosts Australia at the Commonwealth Games after suffering a last-gasp defeat in their final group game.
Having beaten Malaysia (7-0), drawn with Pakistan (2-2) and come from two goals down to beat Wales (3-2), they took a first-half lead against India through David Condon’s goal.
Manpreeet Singh and Rupiner Pal Singh replied to edge India ahead, before Liam Ansell levelled from a short corner.
Sam Ward’s seventh goal of the tournament then put England 3-2 up and seemingly on course to top their group.
But two goals in the last two minutes from Varun Kuumar and Mandeep Singh – with barely 30 seconds left on the clock – left them beaten and in second place in the group.
India face New Zealand in the other semi-final and England’s Barry Middleton said: “We could have been a little bit smarter in the way we played but it’s good it happened in the group, so we can learn from it. Now in the knockout games we know what to do.
“When it’s 2.30 in the afternoon and it’s 30 degrees and whatever humidity it’s tough to keep that intensity throughout the game and we have to do it smart sometimes.
“We’ll look at the performances from when we played Wales and it’ll give us confidence to play in the semi-finals. We’ve played them a lot of times in the last few years, they know how we play, we know how they play so it was hard work for both teams but we can put our game out there and give it a good go.”
England play Australia on Friday and co-captain George Pinner said: “We are very excited about playing Australia in front of a packed house.
“It’s a great opportunity and the atmosphere should be fantastic.
“We’ve played them a few times recently. It’s always a tough, physical battle and we expect nothing different to that on Friday.”
England’s women face a semi-final of their own on Thursday, after topping their grop with wins over South Africa, Wales and Malaysia, and take on New Zealand at 10am British time.
Coach Danny Kerry said: “New Zealand are a very good side and we are looking forward to a cracking game. We will need to be alert to their threats of which they have a number.
“Equally we carry a threat too and it should be a very tight and exciting game between two very good sides.”