08 December 2019

Hockey: GB come back to draw against world number one team at Champions Trophy

January 30, 2012
Hockey: GB come back to draw against world number one team at Champions Trophy

A Great British comeback took place at the Champions Trophy in Rosario, Argentina, yesterday, as two goals from Leicester’s defender Crista Cullen, helped Great Britain fight back from two goals down to draw 2-2 against the Netherlands.

Great Britain had fallen behind to a scrappy goal from the Netherlands’ Naomi Van As in the seventh minute, as the Dutchwoman volleyed home after the ball fell to her inside the British circle.

The Brits then thought they had equalised though midway through the first half after a good advantage was played at a penalty corner.  However, the whistle had already gone to award Great Britain a penalty stroke, which captain Kate Walsh could only put wide of the goal.

Things only got worse for Great Britain three minutes before the break when Kim Lammers doubled the Dutch tally.

After a rallying half time team talk, Great Britain returned for the second half and five minutes in Crista Cullen gave them the lifeline they needed as she converted a penalty corner to make it 2-1.

Cullen had the chance to make it 2-2 from the spot when Great Britain were awarded a second penalty corner in the 56th minute.  Despite putting her effort on target, the 26 year old was thwarted by Joyce Sombroek in the Dutch goal.

At the other end, Scottish goalkeeper Abi Walker made a series of top drawer saves to prevent the Netherlands from extending their lead and her contribution was to prove critical as the match entered its final stage.

With nine minutes remaining, up stepped Cullen to net her second penalty corner of the match to equalise and earn Great Britain a share of the spoils against the world’s number one ranked team.

Great Britain’s Welsh star Sarah Thomas made her 50th appearance for the GB team, while birthday girl Abi Walker came in for Beth Storry, who sat out the match with Walker’s clubmate Natalie Seymour.

Great Britain Head Coach spoke afterwards about his side’s belief being key to getting results, “The girls need to believe in themselves more. At half time we spoke about belief and for them [the players] to decide if they are good enough.”

Captain Kate Walsh added, “We’re disappointed with our performance today.  We turned the ball over too cheaply.  We needed to be stronger. We created chances and gradually put them under more pressure as the game went on. It was a more buoyant second half and we can take that forward into the rest of the tournament.”

Great Britain will have a rest day today before the final Pool A fixture against China on tomorrow.

Lizzie Flint, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

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