Argentina blinded by the White

[img_assist|nid=8474|title=Star treatment|desc=Nicola White on TV – all pics Andy Smith|link=node|align=left|width=220|height=133]England 4 Argentina 2

Nicola White had one of her best international games as England smashed their way to the 2014 World Cup, and the final of the Investec World League Semi-Final at Chiswick.

After a shaky start England produced some decent hockey to condemn the tournament favourites Argentina to a 4-2 loss and the bronze-medal game.

By coach Jason Lee’s reckoning, and ours, England were actually already assured of a place in the Hague in 2014 by virtue of hosts Netherlands already having qualified through the league.

For more pictures see the gallery.

Lee said: “We are overjoyed with the result. of course. It was an easier game for us than others in the tournament. World Cup qualification was already assured so we could approach the game with more risk.”to their commitment and spirit.

[img_assist|nid=8460|title=Hinch perfect|desc=Maddie Hinch saves spectacularly|link=node|align=right|width=220|height=133]Lee said his side had been able to add some team movement and tactics 

“Doing it at home in front of a home crowd on a sunny day in England – it doesn’t get any better than that,” he said.

World Champions Argentina dominated the early stages but it was England who took the lead as Hollie Webb found Sally Walton wide on the right and her smashed cross was turned in for an own goal after 12 minutes.

Argentina equalised on 26 minutes when Carla Rebecchi produced a reverse drive from the left into Maddie Hinch’s glove-side bottom corner.

White completed the first-half scoring on 32 mintes when she was on the end of a Georgie Twigg cross to make it 2-1.

[img_assist|nid=8462|title=Perfect cross|desc=Susie Townsend|link=node|align=left|width=220|height=133]The goal of the game came on 39 minutes as White won the ball in midfield, released Susie Towsend who carried the ball towards the left pocket an produced a magnificent running reverse-stick cross which was turned home by a sliding Hannah Macleod.

Two mintes later Las Leonas made a game of it with a driven free-hit from the 25, straight down the middle which collected an England stick.

Walton settled the game after 48 minutes when Argentina, inexplicably, let her walk into the top-right of the cricle – her goal-bound smash was sharked home by Townsend.