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Hockey: England 3 Argentina 2

PUBLISHED: 13:44 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 13:44 12 December 2018

England players celebrate (pic England Hockey)

England players celebrate (pic England Hockey)

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Hampstead & Westminster’s Will Calnan and Harry Martin were both on target as a Barry Middleton-inspired England reached the semi-finals of the 2018 Hockey World Cup with victory over Argentina.

Midfielder Middleton produced his best performance of the tournament so far, scoring once, assisting another and producing an incredible block on the line to ensure his side kept their World Cup journey alive.

Calnan and Martin were also on the scoresheet for England – for whom Michael Hoare won his 100th cap - while Gonzalo Peillat’s two corners were not enough to see his side to victory.

Despite the obvious threat the reigning Olympic champions offered, Liam Ansell said his team were perfectly prepared for the game and firmly believed they would come out on top.

Man of the match Ansell said: “I’m ecstatic. We knew it would be a tough match, they have the number one corner threat in the tournament so stopping them was crucial.

“But we knew if we waited for our opportunities, stopped them from getting on the front foot and blocked their corners we’d have a good chance.

“We’ve got a few young guys who have come in and shone during this tournament. We’ve been talking before games about our mentality going into it, being in the right headspace and it’s working. I’m really looking forward to the next match.”

England will now take on either Belgium or Germany on Saturday at 10.30am, live on BT Sport.

England: George Pinner, Adam Dixon, Jack Waller, Liam Sanford, Mark Gleghorne, Barry Middleton, David Ames, James Gall, Phil Roper, Liam Ansell, David Condon. Subs: Harry Gibson, Luke Taylor, Harry Martin, Ian Sloan, Michael Hoare, Will Calnan, Zach Wallace.

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