England registered a comfortable 2-0 win over New Zealand on Monday in the first cross-over match and entered the quarter-finals of Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
Earlier, France managed a tough 1-0 win over China in the cross over to book their place in the quarters, where they will be up against two-time defending champions and world number 1 Australia.
England will now face Olympic champions Argentina in the first quarterfinal on Wednesday.
World No. 7 England were by far the better side against New Zealand in the opening two quarters, creating more goal scoring chances than their ninth-ranked opponents.
Eng Vs New Zealand:
England had the first scoring chance in the fifth when they earned their first penalty corner but they failed to utilise the opportunity.
After the first quarter, England drew first blood in the 25th minute when Will Calnan deflected in a high ball from skipper Phil Roper from the left flank.
England earned their fourth penalty corner just a minute away from the final quarter and Taylor scored after David Condon’s initial try was saved by New Zealand goalkeeper Richard Joyce.
New Zealand came close to reducing the margin in the 49th minute but Stephen Jenness’ shot from inside the box was easily parried away by England goalie Pinner.
In the final minute of the match, New Zealand secured another penalty corner but Pinner made a smart save to keep a clean slate and keep intact England’s record of never finishing below eighth in the World Cup.
France Vs China:
France might be the lowest ranked team in the tournament at 20, but they had already shown the world that rankings hardly have any significance by stunning Olympic champions Argentina 5-3 in the pool stages.
China and took the early initiative by earning four back-to-back penalty corners as early as in the second minute but wasted all the opportunities.
The third quarter witnessed three penalty corners — one to France and two to China.
In a desperate need for a goal to take the match into shoot-out, China pressed hard and earned two penalty corners in succession minutes away from full time but the French goalkeeper Thieffry was upto to the task on both occasions to keep a clean slate and ensure a last eight berth for his side.
(With Agency Inputs)