\England Women into Quarter finals

England 5
Giselle Ansley (16' PC, 25' PC), Tess Howard (19'), Hannah Martin (53'), Ellie Rayer (55')

Korea 0

England sealed their place in the FIH World Cup quarter-finals thanks to a 5-0 win over Korea in Spain.

Goals from Player of the Match Ellie Rayer, Hannah Martin, Tess Howard and a Giselle Ansley brace ensured England will face Argentina on Wednesday for a place in the semi-final.

A nine-minute blitz in the second quarter saw England take control with three goals before the victory was capped off with two late goals from Martin and Rayer.

England started the first quarter brightly, and were almost ahead inside two minutes after Martin flashed a ball across goal but no England player could get their stick to it.

David Ralph’s side had the majority of the ball in the opening exchanges, with Korea rarely venturing into England territory.

Another chance soon came England’s way with Darcy Bourne finding space in front of goal after good work from Rayer down the right but the ball couldn’t be directed home.

Rayer was involved again for the best chance of the first quarter, turning and shooting in a central position which was well-saved by goalkeeper Lee.

The second quarter started much the same as the first with England on top but this time, they made the pressure pay.

A first penalty corner of the game was not wasted, with Giselle Ansley’s drag flick high into the net and out of reach of the Korea defenders opening the scoring after 17 minutes.

The goal gave England a boost as they doubled their lead three minutes later through Tess Howard. Making her 50th international appearance, she showed great skill to turn away from her marker, create space in the circle and fire home from close range.

England had their tails up now and pressed forward looking for a third with a great threat.

A great cross from Owsley – then a dive and deflection from Tess Howard – saw the ‘keeper save high, only for the ball to strike Darcy Bourne dangerously and result in a penalty corner.

Ansley once more made no mistake from the corner, firing high into the top right corner for England’s third goal in nine minutes to put them firmly in control.

Half-time could not come quickly enough for Korea but they made good use of the break, coming out a rejuvenated side after the interval.

A change of goalkeeper had a positive impact as Eunji Kim saved well from another early England penalty corner to keep the deficit to three.

Korea then started to press, forcing Maddie Hinch into action as the ball found its way into the circle, the England goalkeeper kicking the ball away for her first involvement of the afternoon.

Despite Korea’s new pressure, they failed to really test Hinch even when England were reduced to 10 after Holly Hunt saw yellow.

England looked back to their best once they returned to their full complement inside the first minute of the fourth quarter, Martin feeding Rayer whose reverse stick strike was saved by the keeper.

Lily Owsley’s yellow card handed a numerical advantage back to Korea, who duly went back on top as they looked to find an unlikely way back into the game.

But the result was put beyond doubt with seven minutes left on the clock as Martin stole the ball just inside the Korean half, and fed Rayer who ran into the circle before selflessly passing across goal to Martin who slotted home.

And England put the cherry on top a minute later as Rayer turned from provider to scorer, deflecting home Fiona Crackles’ strike into the circle from close range.

It made it for a day to remember for Rayer, who capped off a Player of the Match performance with a well-deserved goal. And a special mention also for goalkeeper Sabbie Heesh who made her World Cup debut late on.

So now it is on to Argentina for a mouth-watering quarter-final on Wednesday evening.