Both Englands mens and womens teams sealed brilliant victories in the NEOM cup with dominant and creative styles of play and goals galore!
England put in a strong performance against the South American champions yesterday, but lost to Paraguay while their Saudi hosts beat UAE on penalties.
So today both sides (England & SA) needed the points, but the Three Lions were quicker off the mark through keeper Tommy Jackson. A Mitch Day double took England to three before the break but the hosts struck with a clinical finish from Majed.
Grossett and Temple fired in powerful shots in the second period, but once more Saudi Arabia were there to pull them back to 5-2 through Naif.
In the third period, the match exploded into a fiery goal fest as Jackson bettered his first strike with a crazy goal and Day completed his hat-trick.
Suddenly, the men in dark green were all over England, peppering them with shots and with less than a minute left, managed to mount an amazing comeback and cut the difference through Mubarak, Majed, Sulaiman, Khalid and finally Majed, as the crowd erupted with the scoreboard reading 7-7.
But the hero of the day was coincidentally called Day, as the England number three just found enough space to poke in a dramatic later winner, taking the final score to 8-7 – the highest scoring game so far in NEOM.
England 8-7 Saudi Arabia
Brazil and England book a place in the Women’s NEOM Cup final
With Brazil beating Holland, England knew that a win against Ukraine would guarantee them a place in the final.
Katie James took advantage of a mistake by Terekh to break the deadlock five minutes into the game, and she would double the lead with a header on the first period’s buzzer.
Molly Clark showed all her quality with a long range strike that Terekh was unable to save and made it 3-0 but the Ukrainians reacted and goals by the two Anastasiias, Kaliahina and Terekh, put the one-goal margin back on the scoreboard.
But it was Katie James’s evening and the English international netted the hat-trick one and a half minute before the break to give England a two-goal lead back.
The third period saw no changes in the result, which meant a place for England in the final against Brazil, with the two teams playing tomorrow to close the group stage.
RESULTS (Matchday 2)
Brazil 8 – 1 Netherlands
England 4 – 2 Ukraine