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Sunday, 28 July, 2002, 19:05 GMT 20:05 UK

Controversy mars England win

By Saj Chowdhury
BBC Sport Online in Manchester

England 2-1 Canada

Dave Mathews scored a controversial last- gasp penalty to give England's men their first win in the hockey.

Umpire Clive McMurray adjudged the Canadian goalkeeper Mike Mahood to have clashed sticks with one of the England players in the melee, even though it appeared that it was England's Mark Pearn who took a swipe at an opponent.

Mathews, looking very weary in the strong heat, took the penalty stroke and smashed the ball past the despairing dive of Mahood.

The first-half was a far more sedate affair.

"It was a really bad call and I think the umpire probably knows it"
Canada's Rob Short

Much of the action centred round a midfield battle involving Canada's Bindi Kullar and Wayne Fernandes, and England's Michael Johnson and Billy Waugh.

Chances failed to come for an England side who looked far from a team capable of picking up a medal after they were beaten 3-0 by Pakistan in their opener.

The best efforts on goal came at the beginning and end of the first 35.

Forward Pearn saw his penalty corner and then his strike from open play saved well by Mahood.

Kullar was also looking sharp for the Canadians and was unlucky not to see his effort in the 28th minute go in.

England's Brett Garrard then had his penalty corner saved, as did Jon Wyatt, but Wyatt was to enjoy better luck after the break.

Within eight minutes of the restart, the defender blasted in from a penalty corner to give the large contingent of England supporters something to cheer about in the Belle Vue complex.

But just four minutes later, Rob Short scrambled home a penalty corner to give Canada a deserved equaliser.

Efforts were saved at both ends before the exciting climax.

With Mathews putting away the penalty stroke, all England had to do was hang on for three minutes.

Short stunned

And they did so, but only just. Keeper Jimi Lewis made sure his side picked up all three points with two superb saves, first from Ravi Kahlon and then from Kullar.

After the tense contest, Short, who was in the side that was on the wrong end of controversy in Malyasia 1998, told BBC Sport Online that he was stunned by the decision.

"It was a really bad call and I think the umpire probably knows it. The English team apologised after the game," he said.

"It's happened to us again. I'm so shocked with the outcome, but our boys played brilliantly today."

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