Hockey: Mantell's injury upsets English progress toward last four
Saturday 06 March 2010
England can take a huge step towards a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup if they overcome hosts India in Delhi today; with the Indians having played three and lost two, putting them out of the race for the next round, their chances look promising.
However, they will have to do without defender Richard Mantell, who dislocated his ankle in England's last game against Pakistan and will be out for the rest of the tournament. "Richard is our key player and we're going to miss him. He's very good in long distribution of the ball," Jason Lee, the England coach, said.
None the less, England are favourites to beat India, whose confidence is at an all-time low after consecutive defeats to Australia and Spain. The home side have struggled to deal with the pace and strength of their rivals and their defence has looked leaky at best. One bright spot will be the return of in-form Shivendra Singh from a two-match suspension.
England are playing their best hockey for a long time. Their last semi-final appearance came in London in 1986 but their efforts so far here suggest they are about to end that drought. Their victory over Pakistan was hailed by their captain, Barry Middleton: "This is the best we've played in this tournament; we showed why we are European champions." Lee also heaped praise on his team for their biggest win over Pakistan: "It was a fantastic victory. It was a difficult match but the manner in which we played showed a lot of character. We played excellent hockey in a match where emotions ran high."
Yesterday's encounters saw the Netherlands held on to top spot in Pool A with a 6-0 win over Canada. The Canadians kept the Dutch at bay in the first half but folded after the interval. Penalty-corner specialist Taeke Taekema struck twice from short corners and took his tally to six in three matches; Rogier Hofman added two field goals while Ronald Brouwer and Rob Reckers also found the net.
With nine points from three games, the Netherlands are now favourites to reach the semis; Canada lost all three pool matches. New Zealand, meanwhile, stunned South Korea 2-1 and now have six points from three games. The shock defeat left Korea struggling on just four points from three matches.
Latest in Sport
Frank Lampard was RIGHT not to celebrate Manchester City's equaliser against Chelsea
All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
WWE Raw results: Dean Ambrose and John Cena hunt down Seth Rollins but The Authority stand firmly in their way
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Five reasons why Louis van Gaal is a worse Manchester United manager than David Moyes
- 1 Cyclist in Russia narrowly misses being hit by car and lorry
- 2 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 3 What are your fingerprint words?
- 4 Gary Lineker involved in Twitter row after presenter rubbishes claims he will be warned by BBC over foul-mouthed tweets
- 5 Pink Floyd new album: Band unveil cover art for first record in 20 years
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...
£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...