England’s progress at their home Women’s Hockey World Cup in London came to an honourable but predictable end as they were beaten 2-0 in their quarter-final by the defending champions, The Netherlands on a day when Ireland reached their first ever semi-final in beating India on penalties.
The Dutch, winners of this quadrennial competition on two of the last three occasions, finishing runners-up to Argentina in 2010, had reached the last eight with a tournament record 12-1 win over Italy.
And although England, fielding several of Britain’s Rio 2016 gold medallists, gave them a serious run for their money, the Dutch took the lead after 14 minutes through Lidewij Weltem and consolidated with a second goal after the break from Laurien Leurink after 31 minutes.
It was not the result the majority of the crowd at the Lee Valley facility within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park had been hoping for - but it was a rousing finale to the home ambitions.
The Dutch thus progress to a semi-final on Saturday (August 4) against Australia, who won last night’s quarter-final against Argentina on a penalty shootout that went to sudden death.
The other semi-final will feature Spain, who defeated Germany 1-0 yesterday, and Ireland, who having won Pool B ahead of England, have now surpassed them thanks to tonight’s penalty shootout following a goalless draw against India.
After both sides had missed their first two efforts, Ireland’s Roisin Upton, Alison Meeke and Chloe Watkins all converted to give their side a 3-1 margin, with Reena Khokar the only scorer for India.