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England rally to beat New Zealand
September 15, 2006 19:11 IST
A last-gasp goal by James Tindall helped England beat New Zealand 4-3 in a classification match for 5 to 8 positions at the 11th FIH men's hockey World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany, on Friday.
England, who were trailing 2-3, scrambled home two goals in the last nine minutes to put themselves in a position to match their best-ever finish in the World Cup since emerging runners-up Australia in 1986. They were fifth in 1990.
In an exciting and well-fought encounter, New Zealand led 2-0 with penalty-corner goals by Hayden Shaw (28th minute) and Ryan Archibald (33rd), but Simon Mantell (35th) and Glenn Kirkham (45th) put England back on level terms.
The Kiwis, whose best World Cup showing was seventh in 1973, 1975 and 1982, went 3-2 ahead on a Simon Child goal in the 54th minute before the English struck back through Simon Mantell (60th) and Tindall (69th) to clinch a thrilling victory.
The match was marked by end-to-end moves, with both goalkeepers, James Fair (England) and Kyle Pontifex bringing off several saves. But the other defenders' tended to be error-prone and the teams were punished for their mistakes.
England will next meet the winners of the Netherlands -s Pakistan game and play for 5-6 positions on Saturday.