The capacity crowd at Chiswick, on the last day of the London Cup were treated to two exciting matches. With 14 goals, ten from open play and a deft display of close skills by hat-trick man, Nam Yong Lee or Lee ‘New York’ as he has come to be known it was well worth the visit.
England left it until the second half in the 3rd/4th playoff to really show their true potential and prove why they are ranked 4th in the World.
A frustrating first half saw England create chances but two Belgian goals from Renaud Pangrazio and Tom Boon left the English support fearing the worst. However, a resurgent second half performance saw England score five times without reply. Loughborough Students’ Iain Lewers swept home his first goal for England before James Tindall twice, Barry Middleton and Mark Pearn all finished to give England a 5-2 win.
The final between New Zealand and Korea was a soggy affair but thankfully it didn’t dampen the atmosphere or the players. A close fought match with both sides having periods of control showcased some brilliant individual talent as well as highlighting the very different styles of each country. eventually Korea came out on top 4-3.
Player of the tournament ‘New York’ Lee was on fire – it was hard to choose which of his three goals was the best. Lee felt the tournament was an ideal preparation for the Olympics and thanked the English crowd for supporting the Asian side. “In preparation for the Olympics I will try my best and if they get to the Olympics I will hopefully score a lot of goals…. I would like to add that I was very pleased that a lot of the English supporters were cheering for Korea!”
All in all a great tournament and thanks has to go to England Hockey for creating a successful event from nothing, long may it continue.