Hockey: England lose again and face prospect of last place

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The Independent Online

England continued in disappointing form in the Champions Challenge in Randburg, South Africa yesterday, when they were beaten 2-1 by South Korea in their fourth pool game and lost all hope of reaching Sunday's final.

England continued in disappointing form in the Champions Challenge in Randburg, South Africa yesterday, when they were beaten 2-1 by South Korea in their fourth pool game and lost all hope of reaching Sunday's final.

Casual defending in the third minute allowed Jong Ho Seo to move unchallenged along the England back line and set up an easy goal for Jung Seon Lee. When an England penalty corner broke down in the 29th minute the Koreans burst down their left wing with Hyo Sik You scoring their second.

England came more into the game after the interval with David Mathews, playing his first game of the tournament after overcoming a hip injury, unleashing adrag-flick to pull a goal back at their third penalty corner, in the 52nd minute.

With temporary suspensions twice reducing the Koreans to 10 men after the goal, England pressed forward but were unable to break through as the Koreans put every man behind the ball.

England play New Zealand in their final game tomorrow and could face them again on Sunday in the wooden spoon play-off.

Earlier, Spain beat Malaysia 3-2 to all but secure their place in the final.

* The Scotsman Laurence Docherty has applied for a Dutch passport and will seek permission to play for the Netherlands at the Olympics. The 23-year-old, who has played for the Dutch league side Klein Zwitzerland for the past two seasons, was disillusioned by his omission from the Great Britain squad for Sydney in 2000.

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