World Hockey League: England stun Argentina to reach final

England women's hockey teams
England women's hockey teams

England's women have reached the World Hockey League final after a shock 4-2 win over World champions Argentina.

An Argentina own goal plus strikes from Nic White, Hannah Macleod and Susannah Townsend sealed the victory for England who face Australia in Sunday's final.

The victory also secured England's spot at the 2014 World Cup in The Hague.

"It was a much improved display but we mustn't get carried away. Australia have given us some hidings recently," said England captain Kate Walsh.

England took the lead in the 12th minute at the University of Westminster sports ground after a stinging cross from Sally Walton was deflected into the net by an Argentina defender.

Argentina hit back through an unstoppable shot on the reverse stick by Carla Rebecchi but, three minutes before the break, Georgie Twigg found White who steered the ball home and restored the advantage.

Four minutes after the restart, a Townsend counter-attack was finished off in style by Macleod who dived to glance the ball in.

Olympic silver medal winners Argentina got back in the match at 3-2 almost immediately after a powerful cross rebounded off an England defender's stick.

But Townsend sealed a terrific performance by the home side when she scored from close range after Alex Danson and Sally Walton had opened up Argentina's defence.

In the World League semi-final in Malaysia, England's men drew 3-3 with South Africa in their opening pool game.

Julian Hykes struck twice to put South Africa 2-0 up before England levelled through an own goal and a debut strike by Ben Arnold.

Both sides scored from late penalty corners, Timothy Drummond restoring South Africa's lead before Richard Smith earned England a point.