England ended their World Deaf Championship campaign with a 4-2 victory over Holland.
The Three Lions signed off from the World Deaf Championships with a convincing 4-2 victory over a strong Dutch side.
It was yet another hot morning on the outskirts of Patras, Greece, as England kicked off their fourth match of the campaign in a bid to secure eleventh place in the Championship, having missed out on a quarter-final spot.
England were left stunned as Holland gained an early advantage after just three minutes. It came from a quick counter-attack following an England corner, the Dutch No.9 firing his shot past England’s defence, beating Gary Spotswood.
However, in the eighth minute Fulham’s Daniel Hogan, returning from suspension, fired in a shot from the left-hand side of penalty area, which was deflected into the net by the feet of Oliver Wilcox to equalise for England.
England pressed further in search of a second and Wilcox was unlucky not to put England ahead, when his shot flew narrowly wide. Hogan’s clever chip minutes later flew agonisingly over both goalkeeper and the bar.
England continued to enjoy the majority of possession and Hogan claimed his first international goal for his country. Taking advantage of a horrific mix-up by the Dutch defenders, he calming lofted the ball past the ‘keeper to put England in a commanding position, after only 15 minutes of play.
Having switched wings with Hogan, Alistair Dalziel sprinted down the left flank, leaving the Dutch exposed. He found Hogan with a centre, who fired in his second under pressure to extend the Three Lions’ advantage.
Holland pressed just before half-time, but could only hit the side netting and James Clarke was then unlucky to see his effort saved by the Dutch stopper.
England continued dominate in the second half, with James Clarke pushing forward supported by Wilcox, Dalziel and Hogan. Clarke caused the Dutch a number of problems, resulting in series of free-kicks being awarded to England. Rowan Dixon, produced a strong run into penalty area, but could only see his left footed effort blaze narrowly wide.
England grabbed their fourth goal with 20 minutes remaining when a clever long ball from captain, Peter Wood, was read by Ben Lampert who pulled away from the Holland’s defence. He found Oliver Wilcox on the left to fire in his third goal of the tournament.
Damien Wood was outstanding for England and twice came close to capping his fine performance with a goal.
England had a penalty claim turned down by the Greek Official, before Clarke was dismissed for his second booking near the end. Stuart Bone came on in place of Oliver Wilcox, playing up front as lone striker, before Holland converted from the penalty spot with the last kick of the game.
This was a convincing result for Head Coach, Richard Horner, who was pleased to see his charges turn the game around, despite some poor results in the early stages of the campaign.
Reflecting back the World Championship campaign, Head Coach, Richard Horner told TheFA.com: "The future for England looks bright if performances like this continue. Plans are now in place to take us forward into 2009."