Hockey: England's progress suffers through lack of discipline

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England 2

Argentina 5

England's hopes of a place in the semi-finals wilted in the World Junior Cup at Milton Keynes yesterday when they were beaten 5-2 by Argentina. They must now beat Pakistan, who yesterday outclassed Germany 6-2, this evening.

Yesterday's game hinged on England's failure to score from five penalty corners inside three minutes early in the game and two second-half suspensions, which disorganised their defence. Additionally, England did not play that well and although goalkeeper Jon Ebsworth saved well at a penalty stroke, he appeared at fault for at least two of the goals.

After England's bright opening spell, Argentina took the lead in the 17th minute through Leonardo Deambrosi. England's response was swift through David Mathews and within three minutes they went ahead. Alistair Boyse scored from Mark Pearn's quickly taken free hit.

That was the end of England's control of the game. German Orozco equalised for Argentina on the interval. The second half was just six minutes old when Richard Stamp was temporarily suspended for a second offence. Within two minutes, Deambrosi had scored his second and England had conceded a penalty stroke from which Orozco scored.

England had no sooner got Stamp back and were looking workmanlike when Boyse was suspended. Leandro Melgarejo, taking advantage of the disruption, scored their fifth goal.

A disappointed England coach, Jon Royce, was critical afterwards. "Some of the more talented players let themselves down with their lack of discipline."

ENGLAND: J Ebsworth (Teddington); B Garrard (unatt, capt); R Irvine (Oxford University), J Evennett (Canterbury), R Stamp (Beeston); Manpreet Kochar (Reading), M Johnson (Cannock), D Haydon (Teddington); A Simons (Southgate); D Mathews (Canterbury), T Matthews (Oxford University). Substitutes used: A Boyse (Lewes), M Pearn (Reading), S Humphries (Canterbury).

WORLD JUNIOR CUP (Milton Keynes) Pool B: Egypt 2 Japan 4; Pakistan 6 Germany 2; Argentina 5. Standings (after four games): 1 Germany 9pts; 2 Pakistan 8; 3 England 6; 4 Argentina 5; 5 Japan 3; 6 Egypt 2. Today: Australia v Netherlands (12.0); Spain v Belgium (2.0); Japan v Argentina (4.0); England v Pakistan (6.0).