EuroHockey Championships: England 3 Germany 4
PUBLISHED: 18:45 21 August 2017
England’s men were edged out by Germany in a seven-goal thriller during their EuroHockey Championships pool B clash in Amsterdam.
Germany raced into a two-goal lead before strikes from Mark Gleghorne, Phil Roper and Adam Dixon saw England produce a stunning comeback.
However further goals from Lukas Windfeder and Anton Boeckel pulled Germany through, with their 4-3 victory meaning England must now beat Ireland in their final pool match on Wednesday to be sure of progress to the semi-finals.
Germany immediately had England on the back foot and their captain Mats Grambusch sent them into an early lead with a thunderous strike into the top right corner, giving George Pinner no chance.
The remainder of the quarter was more evenly contested but Germany extended their lead when Niklas Wellen found space at the top of the circle with a turn and his shot squeezed into the bottom left corner past Pinner’s outstretched foot.
England were back in the game within a minute of the restart in a much improved second quarter performance as Ian Sloan won the ball in midfield before releasing Henry Weir down the left and his cut back broke to an unmarked Gleghorne who slapped hard and high into the net.
The game sparked into life in the third quarter as England came roaring back.
Firstly Brendan Creed’s early aerial ball travelled the length of the pitch to release Roper, who let the ball bounce into the area before putting it past the onrushing German goalkeeper with a first-time effort.
Immediately after England were ahead, as from a penalty corner Sam Ward fired at the right post where Dixon deflected high into the goal on his 200th international appearance to spark wild celebrations.
A flurry of German penalty corners ended the quarter and the drama was increased when they were awarded a penalty stroke which was then overturned after long deliberations from the TV umpire.
However, from another penalty corner Windfeder levelled for the Germans on the stroke of the final break and they pulled ahead after the restart as Boeckel reacted quickest to a rebound and hammered home on the reverse.
England pressed for an equaliser and in the final minute it looked like they would grab it, but Ward’s reverse stick effort was gloved away by Walter in the German goal to maintain his side’s lead and seal the win.
England face Ireland at 1:45pm UK time on Wednesday and a win will see them through to the semi-finals.
England: George Pinner, David Ames, Liam Sanford, Henry Weir, Harry Martin, Mark Gleghorne, Phil Roper, Adam Dixon, Brendan Creed, David Goodfield, David Condon, Ollie Willars, Ian Sloan, Michael Hoare, Sam Ward, Barry Middleton, Chris Griffiths. Unused sub: Harry Gibson.