Vitality Hockey World Cup: England’s Unsworth excited by Dutch challenge
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England’s Laura Unsworth is looking forward to facing the Netherlands in their Vitality World Cup quarter-final at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre tonight (Thursday, 8.15pm).
The hosts, having finished second in their group behind Ireland, booked their place in the last eight with a 2-0 win over South Korea in the crossover matches.
And Olympic champion Unsworth feels having played an extra match might work in their favour, saying: “I think playing this extra game does give us an advantage. Because we’re in a centralised programme playing this extra game is no different for us, so getting out there and getting an extra game under our belt we’ll keep on gaining momentum.
“We’ve had two draws and now two wins in our last two matches so morale is really high and we’re really excited going into Thursday’s match.”
Unsworth was part of the Great Britain team which beat the Dutch on penalty shuffles in the Rio 2016 Olympic final and added: “It’s always great playing the Dutch. They’re the world number ones and we’re the world number two, so to have us in the quarter-finals, you couldn’t ask for a better match.
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“It was a tight match against them in the European semi-final last summer (which England lost), but we’ve had another year’s training behind us and we’ll be ready to go come Thursday evening.”
The winners will play Australia in the last four, after they beat Argentina on penalty shuffles on Wednesday night.
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Spain upset Germany 1-0 in their tie and will meet the winners of the match between Ireland and India in the semi-finals.