England crash out the London Cup

[img_assist|nid=2921|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=200|height=141]England will not be playing in the final of the inaugural London Cup after losing 5-4 to Korea in an exciting match at the University of Westminster ground in Chiswick.

The highlights of the game were a flicked finish into the roof of the net from a narrow angle by skipper Barry Middleton (to make the score 4-3 to England) and Nam Yong Lee’s volleyed finish of an aerial. 

Mark Pearn scored a tidy goal for England on the day he and Middleton both received their 150th caps. Pearn created space at the top of the circle with an outrageous shoulder fake and then hit low into the left corner of the net.

Two yellows towards the end cost England dear. Glen Kirkham’s (not retreating) was debateable, while James Tindall’s was almost inevitable (bad tackle) as he seemed to become more and more frustrated in search of a late winner. 

With both players off and the score at 4-4, Hyo Sik You netted the decider in the 67th minute. It looked as if the excellent Adam Dixon was obstructed trying to cut out the cross but the goal ultimately came from a mistake carrying the ball out of defence.

Middleton (two goals) was man of the match ahead of hat-tricker Nam Yong Lee. Iain Lewers also played well for England with some timely tackles, composure on the ball and good distribution both on the ground and in the air.

England coach Jason Lee said: “[It was] definitely a much better performance than the first game. The players can be proud of how they played.  I’m a little bit bemused as to how we didn’t win today. I think they had five shots and six went in, which is a bit of a story for us at the moment.

“I actually thought every time we scored one it was enough; I thought we’d go on to take the game.

“I think it’s a performance which we can build on, compared to the first performance against Belgium, which I thought had an awful lot of limitations in how we approached it and how we actually played.  I thought it was a strong performance tonight and on a normal night one I’d expect us to win.”

Middleton added: “On the pitch it felt the same [as described by Lee].  We played to our game plan; I thought that we did things right and controlled possession.  It’s just those little things, those little mistakes and details that have cost us.”

In other games on Wednesday, a late winner from Nicholas Wilson saw New Zealand book a spot in the final with a 3-2 victory over Belgium.