Netherlands beat England to win World Cup bronze

NEW DELHI: The Netherlands gave veteran goalkeeper Guus Vogels a retirement present by winning the bronze medal in the men''s field hockey World Cup with a 4-3 win over England on Saturday.

In a thrilling play-off for the third and fourth place positions, Rogier Hofman scored the winning goal three minutes before the final whistle after the Dutch fought back from 1-3 at half-time.

Vogels, who turns 35 later this month, was named the Dutch captain instead of Teun de Nooijer for the bronze medal match, his last international game after earning 259 caps for his country.

European champions England, hoping for a podium finish for the first time since winning the silver medal in 1986, were swept aside in the second half by a determined Dutch side.

De Nooijer put the Netherlands ahead in the 22nd minute, before two goals from penalty-corner specialist Ashley Jackson and one from Alastair Brogdon helped England snatch a comfortable lead.

Dutch penalty-corner expert Taeke Taekema scored his eighth goal in the tournament to make it 2-3 in the 48th minute, before Klaas Vermeulen equalised six minutes later.

Hofman, who had a goal disallowed by the video umpire in the 13th minute, scored in the 67th minute to seal his team''s emphatic win.

The Dutch will take the World Cup podium for the first time since 2002 when they won the bronze medal in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.

Defending champions Germany are due to meet strong challengers Australia in the final later on Saturday.