England and Ipswich goalkeeper George Pinner won’t look for excuses after team missed out on World Cup bronze

George Pinner in action for England

George Pinner in action for England - Credit: Ady Kerry

England’s George Pinner admitted Argentina’s controversial bronze medal match victory at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup left a ‘sour taste’ but insisted that shouldn’t be used as an excuse for missing out on a medal.

During the second half of Sunday’s 2-0 defeat in Amsterdam, the South Americans fielded an extra player for more than two minutes, an infringement that was not noted by the officials.

Had it come to light, Argentina’s captain would have been temporarily suspended for the next five minutes but instead, during that period, England’s opponents scored two goals.

England argued the incident affected the final result but have decided to accept the FIH’s (International Hockey Federation) subsequent findings and decision to suspend the South American’s skipper for the next game at a world level competition.

Previously, England, featuring Pinner and fellow former Ipswich School pupil Harry Martin, lost to host nation Holland, 1-0 in the semi-final, and suffered a 5-0 group defeat to eventual winners Australia, who defeated the home nation 6-1 in the final.

“I wasn’t aware of it until after the game,” said a disappointed Pinner, referring to the incident.

“Obviously it has had an impact as for two-and-a-half minutes Argentina were playing with 12 men and then, had the officials realised, they should have been reduced to 10.

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“It has left a bit of a sour taste, but we will never know what impact it would have had and we don’t want to look for excuses.

“We are disappointed at the moment as we were not quite good enough and lacked a bit in certain areas.”

England won three out of their five group games to reach the semi-final but failed to trouble the scoreboard in the knock-out stages.

“Defensively, apart from the Australia game, we had a very good tournament,” goalkeeper Pinner added.

“Against Argentina, maybe we could have made some further strides up the field, had we not been playing 12 men, but the fact is we did not score a goal from the semi-finals onwards.”

Pinner and Martin will now hope to be in England’s Commonwealth Games squad which is to be named in the next fortnight.

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