England captain Kate Richardson-Walsh insists lessons must be learnt from their World Cup experience in The Hague despite finishing on a positive note with a 2-1 shoot-out victory over Belgium.
Although ranked third in the world, the team could manage just one win – a 3-1 defeat of Germany – during their five group games, leaving them facing off against Belgium on Thursday to determine tenth and 11th spot.
England had the edge at the break courtesy of Sophie Bray’s close range finish on 16 minutes following a strong run by Susie Gilbert.
But after continuing to press in the second-half, they were undone in the very last minute as a penalty corner was fired home by Stephanie De Groof.
With scores level, the game automatically went to a penalty shootout – and it was England who emerged victorious, with goalkeeper Maddie Hinch the star with three crucial saves.
Sally Walton and Gilbert were also on target for England to take the victory but Richardson-Walsh knows they have to improve this summer, with the Investec London Cup and Commonwealth Games next up.
“We’ve got to do better, much better. We are just devastated really to be in this position, playing for last spot. We never wanted to be here and I hope this team are never there again,” she said.
“We’ve got some really tough lessons to learn and I hope we go back and learn them.
“I thought we had the quality to win the game in normal time but just got a little but tired and a little bit sloppy, and again that is not ourselves.
“It’s still a busy summer and it’s imperative that we pick ourselves up and we start fast again and really set our sights high and pick the standards back up. We’ve got to stay strong together as a squad and improve.”
© Sportsbeat 2014