|March 2nd, 2010|
|07||Pool B||4:30pm||RSA - ENG||4 - 6 (2 - 2)||Final|
The two teams opening the third day of competition had very different World Cup experience; England have participated in ten out of eleven previous Cups and reached the final in 1986 while South Africa only had four modest appearances, with a tenth place as best result.
South Africa started well, with Austin SMITH very active in midfield, and pushed back England on their goal. As they did in their first game against Spain, they opened the scoring, this time by Marvin HARPER well positioned in front of the goal after a decisive goal line penetration by Justin REID-ROSS. They could have increased their lead shortly after on a penalty-corner but James FAIR managed a superb diving save to protect the English goal.
England were more successful at the other end in the 14th minute, Richard MANTELL propelling the ball low out of reach of Erasmus PIETERSE to tie the score. Half way through the period, England started to increase the pressure on the South African midfield and grab control of the game, pushing back South Africa on their heels. They took advantage of a green card to Wade PATON to take the lead by Rob MOORE, hammering the ball low after a long solitary dash. Their joy was however short lived as Lloyd NORRIS-JONES managed to trickle the ball in goal from a confused scrum in front of the English keeper.
Second period started on a high tempo, England beginning to display the collective game that helped them win the European Championship. They took the lead after a quick exchange of passes in the circle between Richard MANTELL and Barry MIDDLETON, leaving Ashley JACKSON with the easy task to push the ball over the line in the empty net.
Nick CATLIN increased the lead in the 50th minute and Iain MACKAY added another one a few seconds later, making it hard for a South African team struggling for air to come back in the game. They closed the gap temporarily by Marvin HARPER but Richard MANTELL re-established the comfortable three-goal cushion with his second penalty-corner of the game in the 57th minute.
Thornton McDADE added a late goal but England ran away with a deserve victory (6-4). They showed some good form today and, after their win against Australia on opening day, kept up their hope to join The Netherlands (1990) and Germany (2002) as the only teams winning a World Cup as reigning European Champions.
Match facts (South Africa v. England):
> This is the fifth ever World Cup match to see at least 10 goals being scored and the first since 1998, when Pakistan beat England 7-5.
> Today’s six goals mark the third highest score by England in a World Cup match. England had previously scored 7 goals against Cuba in 2002 (7-0) and six against Ghana in 1975 (6-1).
> Richard Mantell (ENG) added to his three goals from the 2006 World Cup to lift his total to five WC goals, all from penalty corners. Four of these he scored against South Africa.
> England have now converted 4 of 6 penalty corners awarded at Delhi 2010 (66%).
> South Africa lost their second successive game at the 2010 World Cup going down in the second half after a 2-2 half-time score.
> South Africa have now conceded 10 goals in 2 matches at Delhi 2010.
> RSA are still to convert their first penalty corner (4 have been awarded to them).