Hockey: Goalless England in trouble

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND and Ireland collected their first points in the women's World Cup here yesterday, writes Bill Colwill from Dublin. But for England it was another disappointing performance as the team who were expected to make the semi-finals are goalless and could only manage a draw with China.

In a dour, uncompromising battle, England, as in their previous game against America, created a number of chances but seldom looked like converting them into goals. They were not helped by the defensive starting line- up, with only Jane Sixsmith and Jane Smith up front and the midfield packed.

The defence, with Jill Atkins timing her tackles to perfection and Kath Johnson working hard, looked secure but it was the speculative passing out of defence and in the midfield and poor finishing which let down England.

England's semi-final hopes now depend on the slim prospect of wins against Germany and the Netherlands.