Hockey World Cup: England knock out Ireland with 4-2 win

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2018 Hockey World Cup: Ireland 2-4 England
Ireland: Cargo (35), O’Donoghue (37)
England: Condon (15), Ansell (37), Gall (38), Gleghorne (60)

England beat Ireland 4-2 to reach the crossover stage and eliminate their opponents from the World Cup in India.

England finished second in Pool B and will play New Zealand for the chance to face Argentina in the quarter-finals.

A draw would have sent Ireland through, and they twice came from behind to level at 2-2 in the third quarter.

But James Gall restored England’s lead and they held on in the final quarter before Mark Gleghorne scored a penalty corner with the last play of the game.

“It’s always a tight game against Ireland and they caused us quite a lot of problems,” said man-of-the-match Liam Ansell.

“But we knew that if we could take our chances then we would win the game and we did that here.

“We never wanted to draw the game – in these tournaments it’s about building momentum from game to game and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

England took the lead in the first quarter when David Condon smashed in Will Calnan’s cutback, before a goalless second quarter.

The third quarter included four goals in three minutes as Chris Cargo equalised before Ansell’s backhand strike put England back in front.

Moments later, Shane O’Donoghue fired in a deflected drag flick from a penalty corner, only for Gall to divert Liam Sanford’s powerful pass beyond Ireland keeper David Harte and make it 3-2.

Ireland pressed for a third equaliser throughout the final quarter, with Cargo blasting over from close range late on after England keeper George Pinner saved a penalty corner.

But, with Ireland having pulled Harte to put another outfield player on the pitch, they conceded a penalty corner with four seconds remaining and Gleghorne converted to wrap up victory.

Ireland finished bottom of Pool B, one point behind third-placed China, who drew with England and Ireland in their first two games.

Australia thrashed China 11-0 earlier on Friday to make it three wins from three and advance directly to the quarter-finals as one of the four pool winners.

The runners-up and third-place finishers in each pool will contest the crossover round – effectively the last 12 – where the remaining four quarter-final places are at stake.

China play France, who finished second behind Argentina in Pool A, in the crossover, with the winner meeting Australia in the last eight.

Pool C, which features hosts India, will be decided on Saturday, with the final Pool D games on Sunday.