Hockey: England dream of elite place dies

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The Independent Online

England will today play Malaysia for seventh or eighth place in the World Cup here with the dreams of retaining their place in the élite Champions Trophy shattered – with no one but themselves to blame for a series of second half missed chances.

England went into the interval trailing to a 29th-minute goal from Argentina's second penalty corner of the half, Jorge Lombi taking advantage of a static England defence as the ball was slipped to him.

Coming out fighting after the interval. with Jon Wyatt driving forward out of defence, England clawed their way back into the game. Jerome Goudie, finding his way to goal blocked, put the ball on an Argentinian foot for England's first penalty corner.

Dave Mathews' penalty corner was well saved by the goalkeeper and, although Goudie's follow-up shot went close, the Argentinian goal was still under pressure. The ball eventually broke to Danny Hall, whose fierce shot from the edge of the circle rocketed into the roof of the net for the equaliser.

England were in the driving seat and had it not been for an incredible string of missed chances should have finished comfortable winners. It was not to be and the game went into extra time, with Lombi scoring a golden goal in the 79th minute.

A bitterly disappointed England coach, Malcolm Wood, said: "We did everything except win the game. I am very sorry for the lads."

In the semi-finals, Germany came from behind to beat South Korea 3-2, while Australia beat the Olympic and world champions, the Netherlands, 4-1 in a one sided contest.

England: J Lewis; B Garrard, J Wyatt, T Bertram; C Parnham (capt); J Goudie, M Johnson, G Fordham; J Wallis; D Hall, B Sharpe. Substitutes used: M Pearn, B Waugh, D Mathews, R Todd, M Jones, A Humphrey.

Argentina: M Chao; M Caldas; C Retegui, G Orozco, E Paulon; T MacCormik (capt), F Zylberberg, J Hourquebia; S Capurro, J Lombi, M Almada. Substitutes used: M Vila, R Vila, F Oscaris, M Paredes, J Garreta.

Umpires: J Wright (SA) and P Teixeira (Por).