Hockey World Cup 2018: England vs China - 3 standout players from the match
- A post-match analysis of the second Pool B clash between England and China with a look at the players who excelled
George Pinner may have won the Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament award at the Azlan Shah Cup earlier this year, and may also have been nominated for FIH's Goalkeeper of The Year, but was beaten within five minutes of the starting whistle by a player who hardly has any reputation to write home about.
The scores were level at the end of sixty minutes following an absorbing contest, but the emotions on both ends could not have been more different.
The Chinese players made no effort to hide their joy as they strolled around the pitch acknowledging the cheers of the huge crowd while the English wore a stunned look as they attempted to digest what had just transpired on the pitch.
As the gap between the top-ranked teams and the minnows narrows down, the contests are getting closer than ever, and both Pool B matches on day 3 of the Odisha World Cup had the spectators on the edge of their seats till the very last minute.
It was the second clash, on Friday, which produced an unbelievable result, and several players from both sides performed admirably.
Du Talake scored the goal that got China their first World Cup points but we take a look at the performance of three individuals whose contribution was immense and consistent throughout the entire duration of the match.
#3 Wang Caiyu
As England, upped the ante at the beginning of the second quarter, Liam Ansell picked the ball up on the edge of the striking circle and took an instant powerful reverse hit which would have tested the best goalkeepers in the business.
Wang Caiyu, however, showed off his super quick reflexes as he padded the ball, calmly and efficiently away from the danger zone.
Yet again, in the 37th minute, Caiyu pulled off a near-impossible save to deny David Condon and frustrated the English strikers with his acrobatics in front of goal. One reason for England not being able to increase their tally in spite of numerous forays into Chinese territory was purely on account of Caiyu's brilliance.