Champions Trophy 2014: The story so far

Sophie Bray against Argentina CT 2014 450


England’s women travelled to Mendoza, Argentina with a number of new faces in the squad: Shona McCallin was in line to win her first England cap whilst Clifton’s Joie Leigh was playing in her first major tournament for her country.

The squad contained four survivors from the Great Britain side who picked up silver in the 2012 Champions Trophy – Laura Unsworth, Alex Danson, Hannah Macleod and Georgie Twigg. Twelve players in the group are appearing in their first Champions Trophy.

Game 1: Australia 2-1 England.
In a repeat of the Commonwealth Games final, England once again suffered late heartbreak at the hands of the Hockeyroos. As in Glasgow, it was ace drag flicker Jodie Kenny who did the damage with a double strike. Her second, the winning goal, came with just five minutes on the clock and ensured Ellie Watton’s 40th minute equaliser was in vain. England lost Alex Danson early on with a head injury which would rule her out of the rest of the pool games.

Danny Kerry, England Head Coach:
“The team and staff are pleased with the level of performance today. We felt we had the balance of play in the second half but you have to credit Australia for converting their corners. I thought the young players did well and I’m pleased at the progression we’ve made in the last three months.”

Game 2: England 1-1 Germany.
England picked up their first point of the Champions Trophy campaign with a 1-1 draw against Germany in what turned out to be an enthralling encounter.

They trailed to Kristina Hillmann’s close range strike in the first half; however St Albans striker Ellie Watton hauled England level with her second goal of the tournament. In a frantic final quarter both sides had chances to win it, with England having a gilt-edged opportunity from the spot. Georgie Twigg’s penalty stroke was kept out by Kristina Reyonolds and it finished honours even.

Danny Kerry, England Head Coach:
“We had lots of good chances in the first half but then we had a player sin-binned and conceded a goal. We lost our way a bit until half time. After the break we were strong and came back into the game. I’m proud of how a young group played in the second half.”

Samantha Quek, England Captain:
"I think we started where we finished off yesterday, on the front foot. Our momentum was good, we just didn't take our chances. I'm proud of the girls. We applied ourselves well and showed physically we are there. We had the legs and kept going to the end. We’re looking forward to the next game."

Game 3: Argentina 4-1 England.
England were left disappointed in their final Pool B game at the Champions Trophy as they fell to a 4-1 defeat against host nation Argentina. Danny Kerry’s side conceded three times in the final quarter after initially going 1-0 up through Sophie Bray in the seventh minute. The result left England bottom of Pool B and meant they would face New Zealand, the winners of Pool A in this Thursday’s quarter-final.

 

Danny Kerry, England Head Coach:
“We started well, but after taking the lead we did lose our shape and allowed Argentina to come back at us. I thought the final score line was harsh and we had some really good chances at the start of the final quarter when the score was still 1-1 to take the lead. But after going a goal down and then losing a player it was game over for us today against an experienced Argentina side who showed great consistency and executed their chances well.”

“I believe we have gained a lot from the tournament so far and it’s been a great learning curve for the less experienced players to compete at this level. We are starting to create genuine depth in the squad and this will stand us in good stead leading into the Olympic Qualifier [World League Semi Final] next summer.”

England will face New Zealand, who topped Pool A in the quarter-finals. The match will be the 32nd between the two sides, with England so far victorious on 13 occasions, New Zealand, ten. Their most recent meeting was a 1-1 draw in this summer’s Commonwealth Games semi-final, which England went on to win 3-1 in a shootout.

The winners of the quarter-final will progress to the semi-finals and a chance to play for a medal. The losers will compete in the 5th-8th classification matches.

The match will be live on Sky Sports 3 at 21:00 GMT. Full TV guide can be found here.

Quarter Final Schedule:
Netherlands vs. Germany 16:00 (GMT)
Australia vs. Japan 18:30 (GMT)
New Zealand vs. England 21:00 (GMT)
Argentina vs. China 23:30 (GMT)