MONCHENGLADBACH, Germany: England won their 5-8 places men’s field hockey World Cup championship match with a 4-3 defeat of New Zealand here on Friday.
The result of the match between the Netherlands and Pakistan was to determine England’s playoff opponent on Saturday (today).
England played catch-up after New Zealand scored twice in the first-half through two low penalty corner flicks by Hayden Shaw, one deflected in by Ryan Archibald.
In the last minute of the first-half Simon Mantell took a rebound off Kyle Pontifex’s pads from a Ben Hawes penalty corner flick to put England on the scoreboard and back in the match at 2-1 going into the break.
Glenn Kirkham capitalised on a defensive error by Archibald, dispossessed by Richard Alexander who ran to the right through the circle and fired in a shot to score with a diving backstick flick in front of the goal for England’s equaliser 11 minutes into the second half.
Simon Childs drove in a backstick shot from the top of the circle for New Zealand to lead 3-2 after 51 minutes but England’s equaliser came through a second for Mantell, set up again by Alexander’s shot from the right.
James Tindall scored England’s winner in the last minute from a variation penalty corner. A win it might have been, but England coach Jason Lee was not too happy.
“This is the worst we have played in this tournament. It seems that England has a record of playing the sixth match of a tournament badly as we did in the European Cup and in the Commonwealth Games loss to Malaysia,” Lee said.
New Zealand coach Kevin Towns said he was “extremely disappointed to concede the goals to England. We should have been able to put the game away after leading 2-0”.