Hockey Women’s World Cup: England face battle to reach quarters after USA draw

Highlights: England draw with USA at World Cup
2018 Hockey Women’s World Cup
Venue: Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London Dates: 21 July-5 August
Coverage: Live commentary of every England game online and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, reports on England and Ireland matches on the BBC Sport website

England’s disappointing start to the World Cup continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw by the United States.

USA’s Erin Matson cancelled out Alex Danson’s opener to leave the hosts, who drew their opening match against India, second in Pool B.

With only the top side in each pool progressing directly to the quarter-finals, England now face the prospect of a play-off to reach the last eight.

Danny Kerry’s side face Ireland in their final pool match on Sunday.

The USA had the better of a cagey first quarter but England grew into the match and almost took the lead before half-time, but Susannah Townsend’s overhead volley rebounded off the post.

England came out strongly in the second half and opened the scoring with a brilliant individual goal from captain Danson.

However, 18-year old Erin Matson brought the USA level with a superb reverse finish minutes later.

Neither side was able to create any meaningful opportunities in a tense final quarter, and England are now reliant on other results if they are to top the pool.

Analysis

2016 Olympic gold medallist Helen Richardson-Walsh, 5 Live Sports Extra

It’s a really frustrating result for England. Going a goal up and then not being able to hold on to that lead was disappointing. But it’s still in England’s hands and that’s all you want going into your final game.

It’s going to be tough against Ireland, but England can win that game.

Fair play to the USA. They didn’t give up and have taken some real positivity from this result.

It’s very exciting going into the final pool games.

What they said

England captain and goal-scorer Alex Danson, speaking to BT Sport: “We played better tonight than we did against India. There was some world-class defending, but there’s always something to improve on.

“We will rest, recover, do our homework and we’ll come out all guns blazing in the last game.”

England coach Danny Kerry, speaking to BT Sport: “I think the USA had the better of the first quarter but after that I think we shaded it. I can’t ask any more of the girls tonight- they gave everything.

“If we play like we did today against Ireland, we’ll be in with a shout.”