England Women missed out on the bronze medals at the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final tournament in Auckland after going down 1-0 to Korea on Sunday.
Korea successfully frustrated England’s forwards and clinched third place with an eighth minute penalty corner conversion from Jongeun Kim.
The injection was trapped and slipped left for Kim to score, with Lily Owsley immediately asking for a video referral for a perceived obstruction. No obstruction offence was seen, meaning England not only lost an early goal but also lost their right to video referral with 52 minutes still to play.
Ironically Korea had used their video referral to ask for a penalty corner award, scoring from a second successive award after Seunga Park was hit by Laura Unsworth’s clearance from the first.
The first half resulted in few shots, Korea having one and England two with England dominating second quarter possession but thwarted by Korea’s defensive tactics. Yesol Cha and Korean captain Youngran Kim both spent two minute spells in the sin-bin but England failed to take advantage of either power play.
At the end of the first half, Korea wisely used their video referral to have England’s second penalty corner award reversed. Their luck finally ran out in the 42nd minute when they lost their right looking for an English foot during their fourth penalty corner.
Early in the fourth quarter, Korea came close to adding a second goal, a cross from the right eluding two Korean forwards in the circle, with Yesol Cha subsequently shooting wide of the goal.
England’s attacks were continually thwarted by well marshalled Korean defence and England’s failure to convert a single penalty corner during the tournament came back to haunt them when Surbiton’s Giselle Ansley was frustrated after seeing her effort kicked away with just three minutes remaining.
England had taken goalkeeper Maddie Hinch off with 4 minutes and 34 seconds remaining, Unsworth donning the kicking back shirt and their chances of finding an equaliser were enhanced seconds later when Seunga Park was shown a yellow card to spend the rest of the match in the sin-bin.
However Korea successfully defended and a combination of time wasting and clearances into the England half ensured that the lowest ranked team in the tournament (WR 9) go home with the bronze medals.
Surbiton’s Ansley, Sarah Haycroft, Hannah Martin and Hollie Pearne-Webb were all in the England starting line-up, with Emily Defroand coming on as an eighth minute substitute.
More information about the tournament can be found on the Event Page of the FIH website here
The England Hockey match report can be found here
The Vitality Hockey World Cup Schedule has also been released with England playing in Pool B against the USA, India and Ireland. The event page at the FIH website can be found here