Vitality World Cup: England 0 Netherlands 2
PUBLISHED: 22:01 02 August 2018 | UPDATED: 22:31 02 August 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
England's hopes of winning the Hockey World Cup on home soil are over following a quarter-final defeat to defending champions the Netherlands.
Danny Kerry’s side were outclassed by the tournament favourites in London and were defeated 2-0 following goals from Lidewij Welten and Laurien Leurink.
The Netherlands will face Australia in the last four on Saturday, while Ireland, who defeated India on penalty shuffles in Thursday’s other quarter-final, play Spain.
The Dutch had 11 shots to England’s nought in the first half and went ahead at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre with just over a minute of the first period remaining.
Welten claimed the goal with a first-time finish through the legs of goalkeeper Maddie Hinch at the end of a flowing team move.
England could have fallen behind earlier when Caia van Maasakker hit the crossbar from a penalty corner, before Hinch denied the rebound.
Suzy Petty then hacked off the line following a goal scramble to prevent England falling behind in the second quarter.
The seven-time world champions were not to be denied for long and duly doubled their advantage in the opening stages of the second half.
Leurink added the finishing touch this time, slotting in to an unguarded net from close range after Frederique Matla drew England goalkeeper Hinch before squaring the ball.
The second goal gave the Dutch the cushion their play deserved and they progressed with relative ease as England offered little in response, managing just one shot at goal.
England captain Alex Danson said: “We are absolutely devastated but I am incredibly proud of each and every player. We left nothing out on the field, we executed our tactics, we did our best and you can’t ask for more from any human being than to give everything they have on any given day.
“Credit to the Dutch but I am very proud that we restricted them to so little and we had our opportunities there as well. We are devastated but very proud.
“Hockey has come such a long way in this country. To every single person that has come out and supported us you have literally been an extra person on the field. “I think the hockey family has grown so much over the last few years and long may it continue. The rise of the game in this country is simply sensational.
“I would like to say a personal thank you to every single member of England Hockey, they are all unsung heroes. The Hockey Makers and you guys, you have really made this tournament what it is.”