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Page last updated at 23:28 GMT, Saturday, 4 September 2010 00:28 UK

England through to first World Cup semi-final since 1990


England reach World Cup semi-final

Women's Hockey World Cup, Argentina
Dates: 29 August - 11 September Coverage: Text reports and daily video highlights on the BBC Sport website

England are through to their first World Cup semi-final since 1990 after beating South Africa 2-1 in Argentina.

Helen Richardson scored a goal in each half before Pietie Coetzee's penalty corner flick reduced the deficit.

England held on for victory though and, with South Korea failing to defeat Spain, secured a top-two group finish.

They next face hosts Argentina on Monday in a match which will decide who tops Pool B ahead of the draw for the last four.

Against a side placed six positions below them in the world rankings England would have expected an easier time against South Africa. However, the Champions Trophy bronze medallists failed to take full advantage of their chances, converting just one of six penalty corners.

Their task was further hampered by yellow cards for Hannah MacLeod and Alex Danson, which saw England temporarily reduced to just nine players.


"We controlled the game and outplayed South Africa for the majority of it but the sendings off changed the game," admitted England head coach Danny Kerry.

"We should have scored more goals. The South African goalkeeper played well but we could have taken our chances better. We managed to play okay with nine players and our defence had to make some big tackles."

The game could have been wrapped up had England made the most of chances to add to Richardson's ninth-minute, long-range strike and diving penalty corner deflection after 48 minutes.

However, Coetzee's goal made it a tense finish, particularly with England reduced to nine players, and it took some resilient defending to see out the win.


Two-goal hero salutes team effort

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see also
England's women battle to a draw
03 Sep 10 |  Hockey
England's women record second win
31 Aug 10 |  Hockey
England start World Cup with win
29 Aug 10 |  Hockey
Hockey on the BBC
17 Aug 07 |  Hockey
Crista Cullen's guide to hockey
07 Aug 08 |  Hockey
Basic rules of hockey
05 Oct 05 |  Hockey

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