Hockey World League: England 2 USA 1
PUBLISHED: 08:18 23 November 2017 | UPDATED: 08:18 23 November 2017
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Two goals from Sophie Bray sent England’s women into the semi-finals of the Hockey World League Final in Auckland, New Zealand.
Laura Unsworth saw an early short corner strike saved, but England took the lead on seven minutes when captain Alex Danson produced some great work at the byline and crossed for Bray to turn the ball home.
The Americans made a bright start to the second quarter, but good defensive work by Grace Balsdon and Hollie Webb kept them at bay.
And Maddie Hinch made her first save of any note from a rare American effort in the final minute of the first half, as England continued to control possession and territory.
Both sides created chances after the restart and the USA’s Melissa Gonzalez fired a short corner strike just wide on the target on 37 minutes.
England doubled their lead on 41 minutes, though, when Olivia Paige and Elena Rayer combined well on the right to create a chance for Bray to lift the ball into the net for her second goal of the tie.
The Americans hit back on 53 minutes, though, as Gonzalez converted from a short corner, to set up a tense finale.
But England held on for a deserved win and will now face New Zealand in the semi-finals on Friday morning (7.15am British time), with the match being shown live on BT Sport.
England: Hinch, Unsworth, Haycroft, Toman, Petty, Danson, Defroand, Ansley, Bray, Pearne-Webb, Owsley. Subs: Martin, Paige, Sanders, Rayer, Tennant, McCallin, Balsdon.