Vitality Hockey World Cup: England 2 South Korea 0
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
England will take on world number one the Netherlands in the last eight of the Vitality Women’s World Cup on Thursday, after beating South Korea in their crossover match at Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre.
The hosts took the lead in front of another packed crowd after just nine minutes when Sophie Bray pounced on a rebound to scramble the ball home.
And they sealed a 2-0 triumph with two minutes remaining when Lily Owsley tapped into an empty net, after the Koreans had removed their goalkeeper for an extra outfield player.
The margin of victory might have been wider, but England missed some good first-half chances, as captain Alex Danson tried to convert herself when Bray waited for a tap-in.
Maddie Hinch had to make two important saves, in the third quarter and with just minutes left, to preserve England’s lead, though, and Owsley said: “We had belief that the next goal would come, we were creating chances and I didn’t feel we were going to concede and the next goal was coming for us.
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“I’m thrilled with the win. These tournaments are all about momentum and we are unbeaten and have back-to-back wins now going into the quarter-finals.
“I’m so excited. Nobody is pretending we aren’t underdogs against the Netherlands, but number one versus number two in the world in front of 10,000 people. Anything can happen.”
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Head coach Danny Kerry added: “I really enjoyed the first half, we absolutely smashed it. In the second half, we lost some shape up front, but the first half was fantastic.
“We have a few things up our sleeve for the Dutch.”
England play the Netherlands at 8.15pm on Thursday, after Ireland face India (6pm), with the winners going into Saturday’s semi-finals.