Eurosport - Sat, 13 Mar 12:27:00 2010
Rogier Hofman's dramatic late strike completed a stunning 4-3 comeback for the Netherlands as England let a two-goal lead slip to leave the Hockey World Cup in New Delhi empty-handed.
Ashley Jackson's sparkling double had taken England into a 3-1 lead at half-time and moved his side to within touching distance of their first World Cup medal for 24 years, only for the Dutch to roar back to clinch bronze.
Jackson took his tournament tally to seven after Alastair Brogdon had cancelled out Teun de Nooijer's opener in Delhi but the Netherlands stormed back through goals from Taeke Taekema, Klass Vermeulen and Hofman to leave England crestfallen.
England, ranked sixth in the world, have surpassed expectations in India, booking their place in the last four courtesy of impressive group stage wins over Australia, India, Pakistan and South Africa.
But Jason Lee's troops ran out of steam and were downed 2-0 by Olympic silver medallists Spain before defending champions Germany proved too strong in the semis.
England picked themselves up and appeared to have done enough to reach the World Cup podium for the first time since 1986, only for their late capitulation to open to door for the Netherlands.
It was the Dutch who started the brighter and de Nooijer broke the deadlock on 22 minutes, rounding off a fine run from teammate Robert van der Horst.
But just a minute later England were level when Brogdon capitalised on some slack Dutch defending and slammed home.
That goal handed Lee's men the impetus and England's sharpshooter Jackson netted twice before the interval to hand his side a two-goal cushion.
Both times Jackson, who plays his club hockey in the Netherlands, produced expert dragflicks to beat Dutch goalkeeper Guss Vogels.
But England fell to pieces after the break once Taekema's penalty corner effort deflected off Richard Alexander and beat James Fair low to his right on 48 minutes.
With 14 minutes remaining, the scores were level when Vermeulen poked home from close range with the help of a deflection from Ben Hawes.
And the comeback was complete just three minutes from time when Hofman took advantage of a poor piece of control from Dan Fox to fire home and break England hearts.