England fail to qualify after draw at Champions Trophy

England's women failed to qualify for the last four at the Champions Trophy in the Netherlands after being held to a goalless draw by China in Pool A.

In a game of few chances, England missed a penalty with six minutes remaining as Helen Richardson's weak flick was easily saved by Zhang Yimeng.

Laura Unsworth saw her shot blocked on the line in the final minute.

Having lost their opening match and drawn the second, England now face a play-off for places five to eight.

England head coach Danny Kerry said afterwards: "We had lots of pressure at the end of the match but we couldn't convert that into a penalty corner or a clear opportunity. We worked hard but with the running we did and the openness of the game fatigue crept in towards the end."

In order to become one of the top four teams on goal difference England, who won the bronze medal last year, needed group leaders Argentina to beat South Korea by two goals but that match was drawn 1-1.

Instead they will play Germany on Thursday and Australia on Friday as they seek to finish in fifth spot.

England, ranked fifth in the world and China, the world number four side, had both recorded a defeat and a draw over their first two matches.

Reading goalkeeper Beth Storry returned to the side having sat out Sunday's draw with South Korea and Sam Quek also featured, starting on the bench.

Clifton's 20-year-old forward Georgie Twigg made her first start in the tournament having come off the bench against Argentina and South Korea.

In a closely contested opening period, Anna Bennett had a half chance inside the opposing circle but the danger was cleared before she could apply the decisive strike.

Despite edging the first half in shots and possession statistics, England were on the back foot early in the second and Storry made an important one-on-one save after a long ball had split the defence.

The chance of the match fell to Richardson, who had combined superbly with Alex Danson which culminated in the ball striking a defender's foot on the goal line and the awarding of a penalty stroke.

But Richardson, who was England's top goal scorer in the 2010 Champions Trophy, saw her effort saved by Zhang, who stepped right to glove the ball away in front of her face.

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