A string of five penalty corners after the final siren gave England a chance of snatching a vital draw and a semi-final place in the 2011 indoor hockey world cup. But it was not meant to be, some heroic Austrian defending, including a stop on the line from James Tindall to end the game, kept the English at bay and the scoreline at 3-2.
Early on, Austria did a reasonable job of controlling the key pool game, forcing penalty corners with only a stick stop on the line and fast ‘running one’ from keeper Nick Brothers saving the day. An Austrian lead looked inevitable though, and it came when Benjamin Stanzyl swept in a rebound off the goalie’s pads in the 7th minute. Two minutes later Austria were two up through a fast break finished by Michael Korper – one of the most skilful players on show in Poznan.
It was the admirable James Tindall who got England’s show on the road when an aggressive run at the right side of the circle produced a foul and a penalty stroke – converted by Simon Mantell in the 12th minute. That was how the scores stayed until half time.
The second period followed the same pattern as the first – early pressure from Austria and another goal, in the 23rd minute – a Korper PC conversion after Tindall was penalised for a strong tackle. The grandstand finish was set up three minutes later when Tindall produced a thunderbolt PC flick – high glove side to make the score 3-2.
England played the last 1:22 without a goalie and went all out for the equaliser. The PC came with 33s on the clock, which wound down before the first was taken. The game was over after when Tindall’s shot from the fifth corner was saved on the line.
England will now play the Netherlands for 5th/6th place at 2.30pm (1.30pm UK) on Saturday. Follow the game on Twitter.
The semi-final linup will be Germany vs Russia and Austria vs Poland. For a full schedule click here.