Danson shines as England set up quarter-final clash with the USA
Hockey

Danson shines as England set up quarter-final clash with the USA

21 November 2017 / 10:54

Captain Alex Danson led by example as England ended the group stages on a high and set up a Hockey World League Final quarter-final showdown with the USA.

Danson opened the scoring as England beat China 4-1 to record their first victory of the competition in Auckland.

It was the Olympic gold medallist’s 106th international strike, meaning she becomes England and Great Britain’s combined outright second highest scorer of all time behind Marjorie Pollard.

The forward also played a part in goals for Sophie Bray, Hannah Martin and Sarah Haycroft as England secured third spot in Pool B to earn a clash with the Americans on Thursday.

“I am delighted with that team performance,” she said.

“We were fantastic in defence and we had some beautiful connections between the defence, midfield and the forward line. To come out and have a really good performance from back to front is something we are really happy with.

“We are very much looking forward to the next one against the USA. They are a very competitive team and we have played each other a couple of times already this year so it promises to be a great game.”

In contrast to the largely defensive game they were forced to play in their previous match with Argentina, England were on the front foot from the off with Lily Owsley threatening.

The midfielder was then involved in the opener, running from her own half into China’s circle to set up Danson.

Bray smashed a shot in to double the lead at the end of the quarter while Danson struck the post with a reverse shot.

 

A third came through Martin on 35 minutes who scored her fifth international goal after Danson had found her in the circle.

China struck back in the final minute of the third quarter as Zhong Mengling scored her country’s first goal of the tournament but Haycroft added the gloss in the fourth for England who can now turn their attentions to the match with the USA.

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Sportsbeat 2017