Ashley Jackson admitted England’s men could have no complaints as they missed out on a World Cup final following defeat to hosts the Netherlands.
England took on the Netherlands in their World Cup semi-final looking to avenge a 9-2 defeat at the same stage at London 2012.
And they nearly got off to the perfect start as with less than a minute on the clock Jackson saw his close-range effort just palmed away to safety.
However, from then on in the first half it was all the hosts and it took a Barry Middleton goal line stop from the Netherlands’ first penalty corner to keep the scores level.
But England were not so lucky from the Netherlands’ second penalty corner on 31 minutes as Mink van der Weerden made their dominance count with the opening goal.
England pressed their hosts after the interval but couldn’t find a way through despite some late pressure as the three-time champions Netherlands booked their place in the final.
This means England will face off against the loser of Australia and Argentina in the bronze medal match on Sunday, with Jackson proud of his team’s efforts despite the defeat.
“We knew it was going to be tough. They are a very, very talented side and play a good style of hockey,” he said.
“We just wanted to keep it as close as possible for as long as possible and that was going to give us the best chance of winning it and we had a few chances at the end, a few corners at the end, to really make the difference but it wasn’t to be our day.
“We knew that was going to be the case [being put under pressure in the first half] as they press very hard and have some very good players in their team.
“We knew the longer we could keep it close the better it would be in our favour and it very nearly worked.”
© Sportsbeat 2014