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Hockey World Cup: England beat New Zealand 2-0 to set up quarterfinal date with Argentina


England beat New Zealand 2-0 in the first cross-over match to seal their quarterfinal berth at the hockey World Cup in Bhuvneshwar on Monday.

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Wil Calnan gave his side the lead five minutes before halftime, while Luke Taylor added the second from a penalty corner in the 44th minute as a dominant England side faced little difficulties in disposing the Black Kites to advance to the quarters.

The World No.7 will next face reigning Olympic champions Argentina in the first quarterfinal on Wednesday.

England began well and could have scored as early as the fifth minute when they earned the first of their six penalty corner but failed to take the opportunity with both hands.

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Then after a barren first quarter, England eventually broke the deadlock in the 25th minute when Calnan hit the net with a first-time shot off a long ball from skipper Phil Roper. The second goal seemed to have come two minutes later but Liam Ansell placed his shot wide off target from close range.

New Zealand, who finished behind Argentina and France in Pool A, tried to fight their way back with Nick Ross finding their best opportunity. But his 28th-minute strike was parried away from goalkeeper George Pinner.

At the restart, England were awarded consecutive penalty corners but once again they failed to hit the target. But with one minute remaining before the final quarter, Taylor netted the second goal after David Condon’s shot was saved by the New Zealand goalkeeper Richard Joyce.

A minute after England had scored their second, Stephen Jenness almost pulled one back for the Black Kites but his shot was kept out by England custodian Pinner.

With time running away, a desperate New Zealand took out their goalkeeper for an extra player but the move backfired as England earned two penalty corners and without a goalkeeper to defend, it seemed that the fate had been sealed for the black Kites but Cory Bennett put his body on the line to keep his side alive.

New Zealand, however, failed to score despite earning another penalty corner but Pinner kept them on bay with good saves ensuring England entered the quarterfinals keeping their record of never finishing below the eighth position in the World Cup.

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