Hockey: England slump to Korean Song

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The Independent Online
England 2 South Korea 3

SEUNG TAE SONG punished England three times on the break in their opening game of the Champions Trophy here yesterday as South Korea registered their first victory over England.

In a disastrous opening five minutes England conceded the first goal three minutes into the game when Song latched on to a through ball, drew David Luckes to the edge of the circle before slipping the ball through his legs into the net. A minute later, in a desperate tackle, Julian Halls suffered a hand injury and England's key defender took no further part in the game.

A diving tackle by Duncan Woods in midfield set Mark Pearn off on a long run towards goal which ended with the Reading striker slamming the ball into the roof of the net for the equaliser four minutes from the interval.

Good chances fell to Stuart Head and to Calum Giles to put England into the lead before, in the 57th and 66th minutes, Song struck again, on both occasions catching the English defence flat-footed as the South Koreans broke at speed. It was only in the 70th minute that Danny Hall won England's only penalty corner of the game, which Giles converted for the final scoreline.

"After getting ourselves back into the match in the latter part of the first half we gave away too much possession in the second half to sustain control," said the England coach, Barry Dancer, and stressed the need to regroup quickly for today's game against Australia. "We need to maintain a positive approach and be ready to compete."

ENGLAND: Luckes (East Grinstead); Garrard (Teddington), Wyatt (Reading), Halls (Cannock), Waugh (Southgate); Woods (Southgate), Garcia (Harvestehuder, Hamburg), Wallis (Teddington); Sharpe (Cannock), Hall (Guildford), Pearn (Reading). Substitutes: Head (East Grinstead), Johnson (Cannock), Humphrey (Cannock), Giles (Southgate).

Results, Digest, page 27