England denied bronze by impenetrable Korea

England huddle v Korea HWL F 2017
Korea (1) 1
Kim Jongeun (8, PC)

England (0) 0

England were once again left frustrated at the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final as they were denied a third bronze medal of the year by Korea.

Despite controlling much of the game Danny Kerry’s side could not break through a disciplined Korea defence after their opponents took the lead early on through Jongeun Kim.

Sophie Bray hit the post in the first half and Giselle Ansley was well denied by Soo Ji Jang with just a few minutes remaining as England failed to convert their domination of the game.

Despite the result, captain Alex Danson said she was happy with the way a youthful squad performed during the tournament and is looking forward to playing alongside them at next year's Vitality Women's Hockey World Cup on the day the schedule was announced.

“Obviously we are very disappointed not to come away with the win today,” the forward said. 

“We showed a lot of resolve and a lot of character as a squad today and across the tournament. This team has a lot moving forward.

“Having the sport back on home soil next year with the World Cup is very exciting. We’re looking forward to it and it should be a great tournament.”

Although Korea started the game brightly, breaking into the England circle twice early on, it was Danson who had the game’s first chance in the sixth minute as her reverse stick shot was well saved by Soo Ji Yang.

But it was Kim who opened the scoring two minutes later as she swept a corner past Maddie Hinch’s outstretched left leg seconds after the England ‘keeper had saved another corner from Yun Kyoung Cho.

England settled into a rhythm after that and controlled both possession and territory in the second quarter as their opponents picked up two green cards.

They failed to create many chances though, the best falling to Bray who deflected Laura Unsworth’s corner flick onto the post, as Korea held onto their slender lead at half-time.

That pattern continued in the third quarter as England continued to dominate the ball without creating any efforts, while the Koreans looked to break on the counter and won two corners, the first well charged down by Owsley before Ji Seon Hong put the second narrowly wide.

They came close again twice at the start of the final quarter as Mi Hyun Park’s cross narrowly failed to find a team-mate before Yesol Cha fired wide after a good run.

Danson tried to spark her team into life in the closing stages and, with Korea reduced to 10 players for the final four minutes, England came close as Ansley’s penalty corner was well saved by Jang.

That was to be their final chance though as Korea held on to win their first major international medal since 2007.

Starting XI: Hinch, Unsworth, Haycroft, Toman, Martin, Petty, Danson, Ansley, Bray, Pearne-Webb, Owsley

Subs (Used): Paige, Sanders, Rayer, Defroand, Balsdon

Subs (Not Used): Tennant, McCallin