England Men will play New Zealand in the Crossover stage of the Odisha World Cup after beating Ireland 4-2 to finish second in Pool B.
After Australia’s crushing 11-0 win over China earlier on Friday, a draw would have seen both Ireland and England qualify for the knockout stages in Bhubaneswar, but England secured their first win of the tournament to eliminate Ireland.
England took the lead just seventeen seconds from the end of the first quarter, Will Calnan pulling the ball back for David Condon to finish in spectacular fashion. The second quarter was goalless, but the match caught fire in a breathless third quarter which saw four goals scored in a three minute spell.
England had dominated possession in a first half which saw Ireland make just two circle penetrations, but Ireland made up for lost time in the 35th minute, Chris Cargo’s shot beating George Pinner, with Michael Darling in position in front of Pinner to get a feather touch, but the goal was officially given to Cargo.
Two minutes later, the teams exchanged goals, Liam Ansell scoring his second goal of the tournament with a reverse stick shot into the roof of the net, only for Ireland to equalise from their second penalty corner of the match, Shane O’Donoghue drag-flicking the ball into the top right corner.
In the 38th minute, Surbiton’s James Gall deflected Liam Sanford’s pass past David Harte in the Irish goal to give England a lead that they wouldn’t lose.
Ireland, knowing that a draw would be sufficient to keep them in the competition, elected to replace Harte with Paul Gleghorne as a kicking back with four minutes and thirty-five seconds remaining, but Gleghorne was shown a yellow card for a foul on Gall, O’Donoghue taking over the kicking back bib.
With just four seconds remaining, England and Ireland’s fates were effectively sealed when England were awarded a penalty corner and with no Irish goalkeeper, England’s Mark Gleghorne made no mistake to seal a 4-2 win and a match-up with the Black Sticks in the crossovers.
Pinner was in the England goal for the whole game, Surbiton’s Harry Gibson rested. Gall was in the starting lineup whilst Zach Wallace came on as a third minute substiute with Luke Taylor following in the sixth minute.
More information about the tournament can be found at the FIH website
All the matches are being shown on BT Sport and the schedule for all their channels can be found here
The England Hockey match report can be found here