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England back in form on day three at the indoor hockey world cup

Iran vs England: History in the makingFor 32 minutes England played focused skilful hockey dismantling the dangerous Iranian side 6-0. Then in eight minutes of craziness they let in four and had skipper Barry Middleton in the naughty chair on a yellow card.

The win and other results leave England top of pool B with one day of pool games to go. For full results and tables click here. The match sheet for this game is also at the end of this story.

“It was a Jekyll and Hyde performance,” said coach Andy Halliday. “For 32 minutes we were Dr Jekyll [that’s the good one by the way] then for eight minutes, Mr Hyde.” [not so good].

And so it was. Right from the start, England’s forward line clicked and the pick of the goals came in the seventh minute with a trademark Simon Mantell high deflection from a well-picked-out circle injection by Richard Smith (3-0 to England, what a great start).

Middleton also scored a nifty individual goal in the 22nd minute with a lift past the keeper and almost repeated the trick a few minutes later, although he was caught celebrating as the ball rebounded off the bar. Other goals were two Richard Mantell PCs (5 min and 14 min) and a Rob Moore (32) finish from close after an aggressive l run into the left side of the circle by Ian Mackay.

This game had been moved to pitch one after Iran had complained none of their matches were to be televised. They eventually gave the fans at home something to cheer about with a late rally. England lost control of the match and the Iranians showed just how dangerous they can be with some creative play around the circle and deadly corners. Their goals came from a Reza Norouzzadeh hat-trick (two PCs, one FG) and another corner from Roohollah Roufi.

Three of those goals came after Middleton was yellow-carded in the 37th minute (to be honest, not sure what happened my view was obscured).

England’s fate is now in their hands – beat Austria tomorrow and it’s the semis. Game is on pitch 1 at 13:45 (12:45 UK). There is a chance it will be on Eurosport 2. You can also follow the match on Twitter 

 

 

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