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England down South Africa for second win

Source: PTI
March 02, 2010 19:03 IST
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European champions England registered their second straight victory in the hockey World Cup on Tuesday, defeating a lowly South Africa 6-4 in a high-scoring second Pool B match at the Major Dhyan Chand National stadium in Delhi.

Richard Mantell (15th minute, 57th), Robert Moore (23rd), Ashley Jackson (43rd), Nick Catlin (50th) and Iain Mackay (51st) scored for England, while Marvin Harper (10th, 53rd), Lloyd Norris-Jones (25th) and Thornton Mcdade (67th) registered their names on the score sheet for South Africa.

The first half, which ended 2-2, was exciting, with both teams using short passes to great effect.

England, however, were the more dominant side after the change of ends as they earned penalty-corners at will and pumped in four goals to inflict on South Africa their second straight defeat.

South Africa, however, were the first to sound the board in the 10th minute through Harper after Justin Reid-Ross had set up the goal with a great solo run down the baseline.

England equalised five minutes later through Mantell, who converted his side's first penalty-corner.

England then doubled their lead in the 23rd minute, courtesy a lapse in concentration from South Africa skipper Austin Smith, who gave away possession to Moore and the English forward made no mistake in hammering the ball home.

But the lead was short-lived as Norris-Jones drew parity two minutes later with a fierce shot from the right corner that beat England goalkeeper James Fair all ends up.

But it was all England in the first 15 minutes of the second half as they applied continuous pressure on the Proteas goal. Their efforts resulted in a goal in the 43rd minute through Jackson, who scored from a brilliant counterattack and then seven minutes later Catalin chipped the ball over South Africa custodian Erasmus Pieterse to make it 4-2.

A minute later England scored their fifth goal from another quick counterattack through Mackay and then Mantell again came to the party, converting with ease their second penalty-corner.

The South Africans did manage to pull two goals back through Harper and Macdade but it was not enough to earn them their first point in the tournament.

Following the victory, England have six points from two outings.

England plays Pakistan while South Africa take on the mighty Australians in their next pool matches on Thursday.

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