Arch rivals share goals, points

Bhubaneswar: A spirited England shared four goals in a 2-2 draw with defending champions Australia in a Pool B game of the Men’s World Hockey League Finals at the Kalinga Stadium here Monday.

England thus ended their pool engagements with four points from three games while Australia finished on three from an identical number of matches.

Liam Ansell and Phil Roper struck in the fourth and 54th minutes for England while Dylan Wotherspoon and Blake Govers scored for Australia in the 33rd and 41st minutes respectively.

Liam was opportunistic enough to strike home from a goalmouth melee. The goal stunned Australia, who for a period looked lost and did not know how to respond. Australia’s first real opportunity came in the 13th minute through a penalty corner, but the experienced Jeremy Hayward’s effort was wide off the target.

The second quarter saw both teams having equal possession. England missed a chance to go two up when they missed a field goal in the 24th minute.

Australia, in the very next minute got their second penalty corner, but again the England defence stood firm.

A change of ends brought also brought a change of fortunes for the Kookaburras. Three minutes after the interval, Wotherspoon made a brilliant run down the middle and then sold a dummy to England goalie George Pinner to score a brilliant field goal. The Aussies continued to apply pressure and were rewarded with their third penalty corner which Govers duly converted.

In the fourth quarter, the Englishmen changed formation to attack from the flanks. They were rewarded when Roper sneaked in through the Aussie defence to meet a cross from the right and score.

In the remaining period, the Aussies attacked in hordes to secure victory, but the England defence held firm.

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