Draw gives Ireland chance to book quarter-final slot with India win
England and USA play out a 1-1 draw at Women’s Hockey World Cup
England’s Alex Danson scores her side’s goal during the Women’s Hockey World Cup match at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London. Photograph: Steven Paston/PA Wire
USA 1 England 1
Ireland could qualify directly to the quarter-finals of the Women’s Hockey World Cup with a win over India on Thursday after hosts England drew with the United States in London on Wednesday night.
Ireland opened with a win over the USA and remain on top of Pool B on three points, with England in second on two points after also drawing their opening game against India.
The four pool winners go straight to the quarter-finals, while the other four spots are earned through cross-over games from the teams that finish second and third in each pool.
England were first forced to demonstrate their resilience in the 11th minute, when defending a penalty corner from the Americans and succeeding in keeping the score goalless. In an entertaining affair, Ellie Rayer had also by then already threatened in making a fine tackle outside of the England circle and dribbling almost the length of the pitch before being tackled herself.
Little separated the two teams during the cagey opening quarter, but England’s Laura Unsworth saw a deflection take her effort from a penalty corner just wide, and team-mate Susannah Townsend then went close by hitting the post from a volley above her head.
It remained goalless at half-time but further pressure soon led to England going ahead. On her 200th appearance, Danson collected possession on the flank and made her way into the circle before sending a backhand into the bottom corner.
Their lead was regardless short-lived. Responding quickly and efficiently, the USA scored their equalising goal through a great finish from Matson that went high and into the net on the return, and in the final quarter a winner eluded both teams.