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England register second win, beat SA 6-4

 NEW DELHI, March 2 (PTI): European champions England registered their second straight victory in the hockey World Cup today, defeating a lowly South Africa 6-4 in a high-scoring second Pool B match at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here.

For England, Richard Mantell (15th minute, 57th), Robert Moore (23rd), Ashley Jackson (43rd), Nick Catlin (50th) and Iain Mackay (51st) were the goal getters, while Marvin Harper (10th, 53rd), Lloyd Norris-Jones (25th) and Thornton Mcdade (67th) registered their names in the scoresheet for South Africa.

The first half witnessed an exciting contest between the two teams with playing clean hockey and using short passes to great effect.

England, however, was the more dominant side after the change of ends as they earned penalty corners at will and pumped in four goals to inflict on South Africa their second defeat on the trot.

South Africa, however, were the first to sound the board in the 10th minute of the match through Harper after Justin Reid-Ross had set up the goal with a great solo run down the baseline.

England equalised five minutes later through Mantell, who converted his side’s first penalty corner with aplomb.

England then doubled their lead in the 23rd minute, courtesy a lapse in concentration from South Africa skipper Austin Smith, who gave away the possession to Moore and the English forward made no mistake in hammering the ball home.

But the lead was short-lived as Norris-Jones drew parity two minutes later with a fierce shot from the right corner that beat England goalkeeper James Fair all ends up to go into the breather tied at 2-2.

But it was all England in the first 15 minutes of the second half as they applied continuous pressure on the Protea goal.

Their efforts resulted in goal in the 43rd minute through Jackson, who scored from a brilliant counterattack and then seven minutes later Catalin chipped the ball over South Africa custodian Erasmus Pieterse to make it 4-2.

A minute later England scored their fifth goal from another quick counterattack through Mackay and then sen again came to the party, converting with ease their second short corner.

The South Africans did manage to pull two back through Harper and Macdade but it was not enough for the Protea side to ensure their first point in the tournament.

With this victory, England has six points from two outings while South Africa is yet to get their name in the points table.

England will next play Pakistan while South Africa will take on the mighty Australians in their next pool matches on Thursday.

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