England 1 vs. 1 USA
8.00 push back
It’s a sell out crowd for this World Cup match. The England captain, Alex Danson is set t win her 200th cap for the host nation and gets a special announcement, prior to the start of the game. Both teams are wanting a win, after a draw for the English and a lose for the Americans in their previous matches.
The USA push back. They are retaining possession better than England are in the opening stages. Th ladies in red are refusing to press past the third quarter. The English are looking to be quite quick when they win the ball back, but sometimes seem to be rushing a bit too much and are turning it back over again often.
In the eleventh minute, USA win the first short corner of the match, for a foot foul in the circle. It goes to the left post, but HInch covers the space at that side of her goal. It’s dragged back and a there’s a shot but cleared it’s off the line.
After fourteen minutes there’s a pass smacked into the English circle, but it bobbles over the stick of Loren Shealy and goes off the pitch. At the end of the period, it’s 0 – 0, with the USA being the better team.
Five minutes after the restart England are looking to break the deadlock. We see a pass into the circle by Anna Toman and a shot, which rebounds back into danger and another shot. There are shouts from the English for a short corner and it’s given. The shot is taken by Laura Unsworth, but goes wide and the USA get the hit out. Better hockey from England.
Two minutes later and Toman is on the right again. A pass to Danson, who then drives to the baseline and drags back. The resulting shot is lifted into a defender and it’s a free hit for the Americans. Shortly afterwards Hannah Martin of England pounces on a pass out from USA, finds herself in the circle with time on ball, but chuffs it after a rush of blood to the head.
England are coming into the game now and Alex Danson is looking particularly lively in the top right corner. In the eleventh minute Laura Unsworth passes to Sarah Haycroft, in the circle. She tries to spin and wins the short corner. Unsworth receives the injection and shots, but first runner blocks it, but not very well. The English number four wins the ball back and shoots, it bounces up and Susannah Townsend tries an over head smash, which cannons off of the left hand post. The move breaks down. The English fans thought that their team had scored.
At the start of the second half, there is a long build up from England, with most of the players touching the ball. Townsend feeds Danson, who drives towards the right post and wins a short corner, the first after the restart, but it’s saved by the keeper, Jackie Briggs and played away. England regain possession but are forced backwards and they start again. Eventually, the ball finds Danson. She cuts inside and weaves herself to the left of the circle, takes a reverse hit strike and scores her first goal of the tournament. 1 – 0 England. It’s a splendid way to mark her double centenary of games for her country.
The USA aren’t happy though. On eight minutes Melissa Gonzalez wins ball on half way line, she drives forward and sends it to the left of the circle for Erin Matson. The 18 year old picks it and reverse hits at Maddie Hinch’s near post. It bounces inf and behind the English goalie for the equaliser. 1 – 1 at the end of the third period.
Shortly after the restart, Sophie Bray, the English baby faced assassin, drives down the left, passes to Danson, who’s subsequently cleared out by the use keeper. Long corner, for the host nation.
Sophie Bray is really coming into the game now, driving forward, almost at will., but is green carded in the ninth minute. Both teams are wanting not to lose and are remaining organised at the back. But England are starting to look for the goal and find possession in higher places, but can’t break down the American defence. With a little over a minute of the game left the USA win a short corner. There’s a trick pass from the second castle to the first, a shot and HInch saves it. Another penalty corner, but the trap is spilt. Less than a minute left and England counter, but can’t get into the circle, delayed right on the edge. The USA have one last roll of the dice, but the hooter goes. The game ends 1 -1. Alex Danson wins the Player of the Match award.