Alex Danson hits 100th goal as England lose shootout to Netherlands

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
Alex Danson is congratulated on scoring her 100th international goal
Alex Danson won gold with Great Britain at the 2016 Rio Olympics

Captain Alex Danson scored her 100th international goal as England women fought back to draw 2-2 before losing a shoot-out 4-3 to the Netherlands.

The Netherlands led 2-0 at half-time thanks to goals from Laura Nunnink and Laurien Leurink in the Olympic Park.

Danson fired home her landmark goal before Sophie Bray equalised for the hosts with six minutes remaining.

In a see-saw shootout, Netherlands eventually won 4-3 after Nicola White's stroke was saved.

"It was a fantastic performance and we have lots to be proud of," said Danson.

Her 100 international goals have been scored across 274 caps for England and Great Britain.

The British team beat the Dutch in a shoot-out to win the 2016 Olympic title in Rio.

Hockey Pro League to be launched in 2019

Following the match, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) revealed that a new Hockey Pro League competition will be launched in 2019.

England/Great Britain will have teams in both men's and women's competitions, each of which will see the world's nine best teams play each other at home and away each year.

The top four teams in both competitions each year will then go forward to a Grand Final.

"Hockey in this country is growing, but it's also a very important and exciting time for hockey around the world," said Danson.

Narinder Dhruv Batra, the FIH president, said the new league would succeed in "making hockey a global game that inspires the next generation".

Bobby Crutchley, the England and Great Britain men's head coach, added: "This is great news for hockey in our country and I'm delighted both of our teams have been included."

The Hockey Pro League's creation means the World League Finals - which have been in operation for men and women since 2012 - will cease to after the culmination of this year's competitions.

Then men's semi-final involving England will take place in London from 15 June, before concluding in India in December.

England's women will compete in their semi-finals in South Africa next month with the aim of reaching the finals in New Zealand in November.

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