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England and China draw at Champions Trophy

London, June 28 (agencies)
Published on 28 Jun. 2011 11:40 PM IST
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England’s women remain without a victory at the Champions Trophy in the Netherlands after being frustrated by China in a goalless Pool A match. In a game of few chances, England squandered a penalty with six minutes remaining as Helen Richardson’s weak flick was easily saved by Zhang Yimeng. Laura Unsworth saw her shot blocked on the line in the final minute. Having lost their opening match and drawn the second, England now need Argentina to beat Korea by two goals. England, ranked fifth in the world and China, the world number four side, had both recorded a defeat and a draw over their first two matches. In their five previous meetings at the Champions Trophy, China had won twice and the sides had drawn twice with England winning 2-1 on home turf in Nottingham last July courtesy of goals from Richardson and Charlotte Craddock. Reading goalkeeper Beth Storry returned to the side having sat out Sunday’s draw with South Korea and clubmate Sam Quek also featured, starting on the bench. Clifton’s 20-year-old forward Georgie Twigg made her first start in the tournament having come off the bench against Argentina and South Korea.A closely contested opening period saw Anna Bennett with a half chance inside the Chinese circle but the danger was cleared before she could apply the decisive strike. Despite edging the first half in shots and possession statistics, England found themselves on the back foot early in the second half and Storry made a good one-on-one save after a long ball had split the defence. The chance of the match fell to Richardson who had combined superbly with Danson which culminated in the ball striking a defender’s foot on the goal line and the awarding of a penalty stroke. But Richardson, who was England’s top goal scorer in the 2010 Champions Trophy, saw her effort saved by Zhang, who stepped right to glove the ball away in front of her face. England Head Coach Danny Kerry said afterwards: “We had lots of pressure at the end of the match but we couldn’t convert that into a penalty corner or a clear opportunity. We worked hard but with the running we did and the openness of the game fatigue crept in towards the end.” 

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Tags : Hockey 
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