Hockey: Dancer to place more emphasis on attack

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The Independent Online
THE ENGLAND coach, Barry Dancer, was pleased with the defensive display in Wednesday's 2-0 win over Pakistan in the Champions' Trophy pool match here but less happy with the front play.

Dancer said yesterday: "We have re-established our defensive balance over the last two games but up front we need to be stronger on the ball to sustain our attack.

"Our deep defence was good against Pakistan and our midfield established a very good platform for a result.

"We now face the Netherlands in a match that can establish us in the top four at this tournament."

England had a day off yesterday before this evening's final pool match against the Dutch, for which the English camp is quietly confident.

The Dutchmen, having missed their air connection at Heathrow on the way here, have been in disarray since their arrival and collected their first win of the tournament in their last game, a narrow 1-0 victory against Spain.

However, the record books are not in England's favour - they have not beaten the Dutch since a 2-1 success at Preston in 1990.

The final places in the women's play-offs were settled yesterday, with the Netherlands taking a 1-1 draw against the Australians, who dropped their first points of the tournament.

Fleur van de Kieft scored in the 20th minute and the Australian striker Alyson Annan equalised four minutes later.

The teams will meet again in tomorrow's final - a repeat of the World Cup final in the Netherlands last summer won by Australia.

Germany, who beat South Korea 4-0 in their last game and would have been in the final had the Dutch been defeated, will play Argentina for the bronze medal.

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