England draw with Belgium to top Champions Trophy pool

09 December 2014 / 12:37

England men’s head coach Bobby Crutchley is urging his troops to keep the performance levels high after a 1-1 draw with Belgium was enough to secure top spot in their Champions Trophy pool.

In their final pool match in India, England took on Belgium and fell behind in the first quarter to an Amaury Keusters goal.

But after watching his penalty stroke rebound off the woodwork just before half-time, Iain Lewers showed his class with a pin-point accurate reverse stick effort in the 48th minute to bring his side back level.

And that is how it stayed with a point enough to secure England top spot, meaning they will now face either Germany or India in their quarter-final – with Crutchley admitting that either side are dangerous.

“All our games against Belgium are close and today was no different,” he said. “It wasn’t pretty on occasions, but we created good chances and edged possession and we could have won it. 

“The conditions were more challenging today than in our games against Pakistan and Australia, and the humidity got to us a bit in the second half as our pace slowed.

“We know we’ve got to play our best hockey from now on. Neither game against Germany or India will be easy; these are the best teams in the world.

“Germany certainly haven’t played their best hockey here yet, but they are past masters at upping their game in the knock out phases.

“If we face India it will be a great experience to play in front of a packed crowd and a good challenge because we’ve had such good games against them in the past couple of years.”

© Sportsbeat 2014