Golden goal sinks England

Ben Arnold in action for England men against New Zealand with Dean Couzins (credit: Treebyimages)

Darren Cheesman 32 (F)  
Barry Middleton 56 (F)  
Stephen Jenness 19 (F)  
Nick Wilson 61, 77 (F, PC)  

New Zealand win 3-2 on Golden Goal

It took a golden goal to separate England and New Zealand after the sides had shared a 2-2 draw after 70 minutes in their final match at the Champions Trophy.  Both sides had led by the time Nick Wilson scored to make it 3-2 to New Zealand and while defeat consigned England to finish eighth, England Head Coach Jason Lee was encouraged by how his side matched the Black Sticks, who had ten Olympians in their side for the encounter.

Speaking at the end of the trip to Australia, which has also taken in the International Super Series Hockey 9s event in Perth, Lee said: “I thought we did well to stay in the game today. The tank looked very empty but we can take plenty of positives from the tournament; the fact that we’ve competed in every game is one.”

An excellent solo equaliser from Reading’s Darren Cheesman had sent England in level at half time, having fallen behind to Stephen Jenness’s opener, and when three times Olympian Barry Middleton deflected England ahead with just under an hour on the clock it looked as if England might finish the tournament with a victory.

However, New Zealander Nick Wilson settled things in the Kiwis’ favour with a late double. Wilson’s perfectly struck upright backhand shot from the edge of the circle made it 2-2 just five minutes after Middleton’s goal and it was Wilson’s back post deflection that settled things in extra time to consign England to a 3-2 defeat.

Explaining how his young and inexperienced side has handled the environment of the Champions Trophy, Lee said: “International hockey players a not made overnight. It’s about experiencing these sorts of tournaments. I’m impressed with the way some of the new guys have acquitted themselves but as a team we are not physically ready for a tournament such as this. There are definitely some green shoots but there is plenty of work ahead of us.”

Australia extended their Champions Trophy winning run to five consecutive titles as they beat the Netherlands 2-1 in the final. Pakistan picked up the bronze medal after beating rivals India 3-2. Belgium, England's conquerors on Saturday, held off another outstanding German comeback to beat the Olympic gold medallists 5-4 on golden goal.

Read the full match report in the International Results section>>