England play out thrilling draw with Olympic champions

England play out thrilling draw with Olympic champions

18 June 2017 / 20:53

George Pinner’s late penalty stroke save ensured England earned a point with Olympic champions Argentina to remain top of Pool A at the Hockey World League Semi Finals.

The England goalkeeper, and Rio 2016 Olympian, stood tall to deny Maico Casella in the dying minutes after an entertaining game in the capital.

Early goals from Mark Gleghorne and Sam Ward after six and nine minutes respectively had put England ahead with that lead then extended through Barry Middleton on 34 minutes.

But the current world number one side pegged back their opponents with Gonzalo Peillat replying three minutes later.

Barely three additional minutes had passed before Matias Paredes netted and then 60 seconds later Argentina were level when Peillat scored his second of the match.

The game continued to flow from end to end with Argentina awarded a penalty stroke after a goalmouth scrambe but Pinner’s outstretched left pad denied Casella, much to the delight of the home crowd.

Pinner then had to expertly save a further three penalties before England almost snatched it at the death when Juan Vilvaldi smothered Ward’s dangerous cross.

England remain top of Pool A, ahead of Argentina on goal difference and face Korea in their final pool match on Tuesday evening- although they are already assured of a quarter-final place.

Coach Bobby Crutchley said: “We’ve talked among the group about playing a brand of hockey that really gets the crowd involved, and gets them excited. I really feel that’s starting to happen, the supporters are getting involved, they’re creating energy and that really helped the team.”

Sportsbeat 2017

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