Ice-cool Lewers books Hockey World Cup semi from the spot

09 June 2014 / 20:45

Iain Lewers converted a dramatic late penalty to secure a likely semi-final date with hosts Holland after a 3-2 win over Belgium at the hockey World Cup.

Bobby Crutchley's men needed to summon all their fighting spirit against the world number five side, going behind to a 13th minute Thomas Briels goal.

Nick Catlin restored parity six minutes later before the game turned in England's favour when Ashley Jackson, still hampered by his shoulder injury, converted after the break.

However, Belgium - who knew a draw would be enough to take the second spot in Group A behind unbeaten Australia - levelled the match with just seven minutes remaining when Tanguy Cosyns fired home.

But England, who beat India with a last-gasp goal, did it again, Lewers - deputising at flick duties from the struggling Jackson - converting from close range after Belgium players fumed at Christian Blasch's refereeing decision.

"We did it the hard way as normal but I couldn't be happier with a World Cup semi-final," said Catlin.

"We defended brilliantly, broke on the counter and totally deserved the win. It was a total team performance but it was our defence that won the game.

"Those last few minutes felt like a lifetime but thankfully it's all done and we've got a very big game to prepare for now."

© Sportsbeat 2014