Middleton strike set ups quarter-final clash with Japan

02 July 2013 / 17:13

Barry Middleton's late strike secured England their first win at the hockey World League - and booked top two progress from their group.

After draws with South Africa and Pakistan, England took an early lead against hosts Malaysia, Richard Smith converting a penalty corner.

Tengku Abdul Jalil levelled from a set-piece seven minutes later and Middleton's 57th minute strike sealed the 2-1 win and set-up a quarter-final with Japan.

“This was another important progressive step for the group," said head coach Bobby Crutchley.

"We’re continuing to develop the mental side of our game and I thought we coped extremely well with the pressure from Malaysia and their home support here. We now look forward to a quarter final against Japan on Thursday. 

"If we continue to improve as we have been doing, we’ll have a great chance of World Cup qualification.”

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