Hockey World Cup 2018: Debutants China hold higher-ranked England to a draw

first_imgDebutants China produced a gritty show in their first-ever Hockey World Cup match to hold world No.7 England to a 2-2 draw in a Pool B match in Bhubaneswar on Friday.China’s men’s hockey team’s best result in the sport till date is a silver-medal finish at the 2006 Doha Asian Games but they sprung a surprise in its maiden World Cup match.Unusual it may sound, but very few people know that China’s entire 18-member men’s hockey team making its debut in the World Cup belongs to just one province — Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. China is made up of 34 provinces.England started the match as overwhelming favourites but the Chinese stunned their opponents early in the game when Xiaoping Gao (5th minute) scored a brilliant field goal from a tight angle after dribbling past three defenders.Taken aback by the goal, the Englishmen went on the offensive and finally managed to equalise a minute from the first quarter when Mark Gleghorne (14th) converted a penalty corner.Hockey World Cup 2018: FULL COVERAGE | SQUADS | SCHEDULE | TABLEThereafter, it was a struggle for the English to break the resolute Chinese defence despite enjoying lion’s share of possession and creating numerous chances.A silly defensive mistake by Yang Ao inside the box allowed England to take the lead through Liam Ansell in the 48th minute.But the Chinese didn’t give up and continued to show sparks in patches. While defending stoutly, they also started to threaten the English citadel with swift counter-attacks.The Chinese players were eager to take a photo to mark the occasion of their first ever Hockey World Cup match, after the team drew against @EnglandHockey in their opening match of the OHMWC Bhubaneswar 2018.#IndiaKaGame #HWC2018 #DilHockey #ENGvCHN India (@TheHockeyIndia) November 30, 2018China’s persistence finally bore fruit and the brave men broke England’s heart just a minute from the final hooter.From one such counter-attack China secured a penalty corner in the 59th minute, which was inarguably their last try, and Talake Du was precise with his dragflick to sent his dug out into a frenzy.A historic selfie!Happy faces all around, after China played their first-ever World Cup match on 30th November after they drew 2-2 against @EnglandHockey at the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. #IndiaKaGame #HWC2018 #DilHockey #ENGvCHN India (@TheHockeyIndia) November 30, 2018China’s South Korean coach Sang Ryul Kim praised the lion-hearted efforts of his men, saying the result came as a “surprise” to him.”We came here with no high expectation as we are making our debut. What we wanted was to show fight and we did that today. It was a gritty performance from the boys and it was a good surprise to see us score 2 goals today,” Kim said after the match.The Chinese fans were really joyous as their team cheekily sneaked away a draw during the dying minutes of the game by converting a Penalty Corner. #ENGvCHN #IndiaKaGame #HWC2018 #DilHockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) November 30, 2018China will next play Ireland on December 4 while England will be up against two-time defending world champions Australia on the same day.(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more