sport

England seal semi-final spot

A fourth successive victory booked England's semi-final place in the World Hockey League as they gained revenge over Belgium with a 1-0 win.

The last time the two teams met in a major competition the Belgians capitalised on home advantage to come out 3-0 winners in their European Championships semi-final last August.

However, England are the form team at the elite-level tournament in New Delhi and are the only nation to have won all their games.

Reading forward Tom Carson, who thought he had opened the scoring early on only to have his strike ruled out by the video umpire, grabbed the winner with his third goal in four games from a 47th-minute penalty corner.

Man of the match was Beeston goalkeeper George Pinner, who produced a string of saves in either half, as England survived a tense period at the end when Iain Lewers' yellow card saw them holding on with 10 men.

"We came into this tournament not really knowing where we were," said Holcombe defender Dan Fox.

"To have won four games is probably better than we expected. This game was tough because there was just the one goal in it."

England's winning form has given them the easier half of the draw - avoiding heavyweights Australia, Germany and Holland - and they will face either New Zealand (whom they beat 5-1 in their group game) or Argentina in Friday's semi-final.

England's semi-final opponents on Friday were confirmed as New Zealand, who beat Argentina in a shoot-out after their game finished 1-1.

World number twos Australia face Holland, who defeated Olympic and European champions Germany, in the other semi-final.