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Posted at: Dec 5, 2018, 1:45 AM; last updated: Dec 5, 2018, 1:45 AM (IST)

Oz drub England, China hold Ireland

Oz drub England, China hold Ireland

Tribune News Service

Bhubaneswar, December 4

England made a springy start but fizzled out under the Australian chokehold before imploding in the last quarter to lose 3-0 to the two-time defending champions. England, held 2-2 by the debutants China in their first match, looked determined to get their first win of the tournament. Their defence was tight, keeping out Australia. Their midfielders were slippery, getting away from their markers with quick turns and squeezing through tight channels. England counterpunched with speed and their forwards were bursting with energy. The first half was highly entertaining, with both teams creating chances but nothing coming off them.

The second half was all about Australia. They swarmed the midfield and kept pushing England deeper into their third. It was a hold that England found impossible to escape from; their attempts at aerial balls turned into damp squibs. In the second minute of the last quarter, England relented. Jake Whetton’s goal could have been the winner for the dominance Australia enjoyed and the haplessness England showed. But Australia got two more gifts – Blake Govers scoring in the 50th minute and Corey Weyer getting one six minutes later – to make it six points from two games and seal their place in the quarterfinals.

With the other Pool B match, between Ireland and China, ending in a 1-1 draw, no other team can get to six points. It means that the reigning champions have become the first side in the tournament to qualify directly for the quarterfinals. 


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