England crash out of Hockey World Cup as favourites The Netherlands brush them aside

England’s dreams of winning the World Cup on home soil were dashed as they lost 2-0 to holders The Netherlands at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre tonight.

Goals from player of the match Lidewij Welten and Laurien Leurink in the first and third quarters set the Dutch up with a semi-final clash against Australia.

The home side can take some comfort in knowing they gave The Netherlands their toughest test of the tournament so far, but the gap in quality between the top two ranked sides in the world was evident.

England defender Giselle Ansley said: “I’m gutted, absolutely devastated. But still super proud to be part of that team.

“We put absolutely everything out there and can’t ask for much more.

“It absolutely hurts more to lose at home.

“Ten and a half thousand people out there cheering you on, and we wanted to do it for them as well but it wasn’t meant to be.”

Ansley described the game as a tough and physical encounter, with lots of running.

She said: “They probably had the better of the chances, but we stuck at it the whole 60 minutes and we gave absolutely everything.

“To be fair to them they were just a little bit more clinical in their attacking play than we were.”

England piled on the pressure in the final quarter, urged on by the crowd, but couldn’t carve out a clear opening.

Much had been made about their inability to capitalise on penalty corners throughout their tournament, yet England didn’t get a chance to respond to their critics tonight.

Ansley said: “We’d worked hard on them ready for this game, but they only got one and we didn’t get any.

“It shows how end to end a game it was, there wasn’t really much play in the circles.”

Ansley refused to dwell on on the fact England couldn’t have a much easier draw had they topped their group as expected.

She said: “In the World Cup there’s no easy games so to call it an easy draw would be remiss of us.

“Anyone on their given day can beat anyone and I think that’s especially what this tournament has show and thrown up.”

Surbiton teammate and fellow defender Hollie Pearne-Webb was more critical of England’s earlier performances.

She said: “Looking back, we have had a fairly good tournament, although we should have got better outcomes from the first two games.

“We need to learn to turn up for the pool games.”

England will now take a few weeks holiday before regrouping with Team GB.

They may not have lived up to expectations in this World Cup, but what they lacked in performance they made up for in spirit.

Ansley said: “We win as a team and we lose as a team and that’s what happened today – everyone, every single member of the team, the squad, left everything out there today.

“That’s what so special about being part of this team is we are a team and there’s no individuals, it’s all of us as one.”

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