Hockey: England get a bronze boost in Malaysia

 

England defeated South Korea 2-1 to claim bronze at the World League in Malaysia on Sunday.

Ben Arnold opened the scoring in the first half for England before Korea's Kim Seong-kyu levelled the score in the 51st minute.

However, solid defensive work by England and a goal for Harry Martin from a penalty corner eight minutes later sealed the win.

England learned the lessons from yesterday when they conceded three early goals in the game against Argentina and looked much more assured against their Korean opponents, building up play patiently and waiting for the right openings.

Beeston's Arnold poached the ball from the Korean defence and used his pace to drive across the circle to create space for the strike, with its speed and accuracy too good as England took a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute.

Korea built momentum during the second half and managed to convert their first penalty corner attempt after England made an initial block, with unmarked Kim deflecting a follow-up shot into the back of the net.

England then won their first penalty corner against the run of play. Richard Smith disguised his pass back to the injector, Nick Catlin, who squared the ball to Martin, allowing him to restore England's lead and with a simple tap in.

Speaking after the game Reading's Catlin said: "We're really really happy with the result today. As a group we came out here with the primary objective of qualifying for next year's World Cup and we achieved that with our win over Japan.

"We were very disappointed with our performance against Argentina yesterday, but it was great to come back with the win today.

"We've been building this team since April and playing in Malaysia is as tough as it gets so it's been good experience for some of the new players."

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