Vantage Black Sticks vs England, SKY Sport 2: 12:25am
The Vantage Black Sticks take on England in the first Cross-Over match at the Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup. The winner of the match will progress to take on Argentina in the Quarter Finals while the losing team will be sent home.
Both these teams play an attacking brand of hockey and create several opportunities in front of goal. The Vantage Black Sticks have not been clinical in front of goal throughout the tournament a trend they will be looking to rectify when they take on England as they look to start the match on the front foot.
The Vantage Black Sticks had a dramatic 4th quarter in their final pool match against Spain where with 10 minutes to go they found themselves down 2-0 and were looking at an early exit from the Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup. A rocket of a shot from Hayden Phillips kicked them to life and then Kane Russell drag flicked the tying goal home which secured a 2-2 draw and booked their place in the final 12.
The Vantage Black Sticks player to watch is Nic Woods, he has been getting through a mountain of work on the defensive end. Look out for some of the great set up ball that he puts through in this game as some of the turnovers he has won in the midfield throughout the tournament have led to some great scoring opportunities for the Vantage Black Sticks.
Englands player to watch is their midfielder Barry Middleton who has amassed an impressive 425 for his country. Not known as a goal scorer in 6 previous matches against the Vantage Black Sticks he has managed to put in 2 goals.
Hugo Inglis reflected on the teams match against Spain “We started the match really well, had quite a few chances to score in the first quarter. However we found ourselves down at the first break. In the middle of the game we struggled to impose our game on the Spanish and they played some good hockey. We never gave up and chased the game well in the final quarter”.
This will be the 4th time that these 2 sides have met in the World Cup where England has come out victorious on all 3 previous occasions where they have scored 8 goals to Vantage Black Sticks 4.
Head to Head
Commonwealth Games 2014: 2-2 Draw (England Won Shootout 4-2)
Commonwealth Games 2014: 2-1 Win
Hockey World League Final 2014: 3-3 Draw (New Zealand Won Shootout 7-6)
Hockey World League Final 2014: 5-1 Loss