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Hockey: China hold England in World Cup debut match

China hockey team Photograph:( Twitter )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 30, 2018, 08.57 PM (IST)

England hockey team were stunned in their campaign opener of the 14th edition of hockey World Cup by debutants China on Friday at Odisha's Kalinga Stadium. 

The high-octane match became intriguing in the fourth and final quarter which saw multiple ups and down for both the team.

In the first quarter, China's striker Guo Xiaoping hammered team's first goal which was equalised by England's Mark Gleghorne with the help of a penalty corner.

China's men's hockey team's best result in the sport to date is a silver medal finish at the 2006 Doha Asian Games and after the thirling entry in the World cup, the team is definitely in the title race.

After two goalless quarters, England got a breakthrough in the 48th minute as Liam Ansell scored but in a turn of events, China's Talake Du netted the equalizer in a nail-biting finish.

Talake Du was given the player of the match for his crucial contribution to his team.

China'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.

Also Read: As it happened | England 2-2 China

Unusual as it may sound but China, for all its sporting culture, provinces and gargantuan size, had to pick all its 18 hockey World Cup-bound players from one province.

Very few people know that the country's entire 18-member men's hockey team belongs to just one province - Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. China is made up of 34 provinces.

The modern game started in China in the mid-1970s.

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In the other hard-fought Pool B match, which was between Australia and Ireland, Kookaburras defeated Ireland 2-1.

Next, China will face Ireland on December 4 and England will meet Australia on the same date.

Story highlights

China's South Korean coach Sang Ryul Kim praised the lion-hearted efforts of his men, saying the result came as a "surprise" to him.