Captain Kate Richardson-Walsh backed England to show plenty of fight in their remaining group games after losing 3-0 to China – their second successive defeat at this year’s World Cup in The Hague.
England had opened their campaign in the Netherlands on Sunday with a 2-1 defeat to the United States after failing to recover from two early goals.
And, while they kept China at bay in the first 35 minutes, applying most of the early pressure, they were also unable to convert their chances – Lily Owsley with her side’s best effort which hit both posts before being cleared.
Yang Peng made them pay for their missed chances just two minutes after the break, firing past keeper Maddie Hinch to put China ahead.
To their credit England rallied, forcing a series of penalty corners, but the Chinese defence held firm before Meiyu Liang doubled her side’s lead on 55 minutes from a penalty corner of their own.
And with England taking the decision to sacrifice their keeper in search of a way back into the game, Peng’s second of the game four minutes from time rounded off the win for China.
England were not short of chances, having created eight shots on target to China’s three but after failing to make any of them count, Richardson-Walsh accepts they need to improve if they are to progress to the semi-finals.
“We prepared professionally, as we always do, and did our homework on the opposition,” she said.
“I’m just devastated. There are still a lot of games to go in the tournament but I think one thing we pride ourselves on is our fight and I think we’ve been lacking a bit of that.
“We are getting opportunities but we aren’t taking them. I hold my hands up as it is me and everyone else in the team who are responsible.
“We need to be hard and honest with each other and come out for the rest of this tournament and play like an England team play.”
© Sportsbeat 2014