Hockey World Cup 2018: England, France win cross-over matches to reach quarters

first_imgEngland registered a comfortable 2-0 win over New Zealand on Monday in the first cross-over match and entered the quarter-finals of Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.In the second cross-over match, France managed a narrow 1-0 win over debutants China to book their place in the quarters, where they will be up against two-time defending champions and world number 1 Australia.England eased past New Zealand through Will Calnan’s (25th minute) field strike and penalty corner conversion by Luke Taylor (44th minute) and will face Argentina in the first quarter-final on Wednesday.France on the other hand had Timothee Clement to thank for the victory.World no. 7 England were by far the better side against New Zealand in the opening two quarters, creating more goal scoring chances than their ninth ranked opponents.England had the first scoring chance in the fifth when they earned their first penalty corner but they failed to utilise the opportunity.After a barren and eventless first quarter, England drew first blood in the 25th minute when Will Calnan deflected in a high ball from skipper Phil Roper from the left flank.Two minutes later, a Liam Ansell strike from close range went just went inches off the target as England wasted a golden opportunity.Well done @EnglandHockey first team to get through the crossovers to take a place in the 1/4 Finals!Odisha #HWC2018 BhubaneswarFIH @GettySport pic.twitter.com/4yfOwvEQqJInternational Hockey Federation (@FIH_Hockey) December 10, 2018The Black Sticks tried to forge a comeback towards the end of the second quarter and in the 28th minute a Nick Ross’ strike from top of the strike was padded away by England goalkeeper George Pinner.advertisementSeconds later, England were awarded a penalty corner but they failed to stop the push and wasted the chance to go into the breather a goal down.England continued from they left after the change of ends and secured back-to-back penalty corners just after the resumption of play but wasted both the chances.The Black Sticks tried to bounce back but they could find the net after entering the England circle.England earned their fourth penalty corner just a minute away from the final quarter and Taylor scored after David Condon’s initial try was saved by New Zealand goalkeeper Richard Joyce.New Zealand came close to reducing the margin in the 49th minute but Stephen Jenness’ shot from inside the box was easily parried away by England goalie Pinner.With two goals down, a desperate New Zealand took out their goalkeeper Joyce nine minutes from the final hooter for an extra player but the move backfired as England became the only team to earn two penalty corners without a goalkeeper but Cory Bennett put his body on the line and took a heavy knock to keep England at bay.In the final minute of the match, New Zealand secured another penalty corner but Pinner made a smart save to keep a clean slate and keep intact England’s record of never finishing below eighth in the World Cup.FRANCE DEFY WORLD CUP ODDSWorld CupLes Bleus fêtent leur victoire (1-0) face à la Chine !RDV en 1/4 de finale #Vestiaires #AllezLesBleus #fiersdetrebleus #HWC2018 pic.twitter.com/Wgb6qzYoNkFFH (@FF_Hockey) December 10, 2018France might be the lowest ranked team in the tournament at 20, but they had already shown the world that rankings hardly have any significance by stunning Olympic champions Argentina 5-3 in the pool stages.On Monday, they started on a bright note against world number 17 China and took the early initiative by earning four back-to-back penalty corners as early as in the second minute but wasted all the opportunities.China made a subdued start to the game and allowed France to dominate the possession, relying mostly on their counter-attacking ability to stun their opponents.In the 19th minute, a selfish play from Charles Masson denied France a great opportunity. After cutting inside the box from the right flank, Masson, instead of passing the ball to his teammate, went for glory and hit straight at the body of Chinese goalie Caiyu Wang from a tight angle.China came close to scoring in the 21st minute but E Wenhui missed from close range after Ao Suozhu controlled a long ball over the French defence and made his way into the circle showcasing 3D skills.Two minutes from half time, France were unlucky as Etienne Tynevez’s deflection from a Jean-Baptiste Forgues pass hit the crossbar.In the never next move, the Chinese goalkeeper once again came to his side’s rescue by keeping out Blaise Rogeau’s reverse hit from top of the box as the Frenchmen failed to break the ‘Great Wall of China’ in the opening two quarters.advertisementChina came out with more purpose after half time and came tantalisingly close to breaking the deadlock in the 33rd minute but a sliding E Wenhui’s deflection from Zixiang Guo pass was parried away by an alert France goalie Arthur Thieffry.France finally broke the resolute Chinese defence in the 36th minute through Clement.The move was started by Viktor Lockwood, who got to the baseline with a blazing run down the left flank and cut back to Maximilien Branicki in the centre. Branicki unleashed a fierce reverse stick at the far post which was deflected by Clement into the net.A minute later, China secured their first penalty corner of the match but failed to capitalise on it.The third quarter witnessed three penalty corners — one to France and two to China.In a desperate need for a goal to take the match into shoot-out, China pressed hard and earned two penalty corners in succession minutes away from full time but the French goalkeeper Thieffry was upto to the task on both occasions to keep a clean slate and ensure a last eight berth for his side.(With PTI inputs)Also Read | For India, Hockey World Cup 2018 starts now: Coach Harendra SinghAlso Read | Hockey World Cup: Pakistan stars woo fans in Bhubaneswar, dance to Bollywood songslast_img