Hockey: Germany's golden goal sinks Britain

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The Independent Online

Germany's men struck with a golden goal to lift the Four Nations title with a 3-2 win as Great Britain squandered a 2-0 lead here. The hosts had forged an impressive advantage as Barry Middleton scored with a sublime lob and then James Tindall fired home a penalty corner.

But Linus Butt finished a well-executed penalty corner before Martin Zwicker drew Germany level. Britain hit the post early in extra time but Germany, who knocked England out of the World Cup semi-finals with a 4-1 victory in March, won with a goal from Jan-Marco Montag.

"We went 2-0 up so early on and were dominant in the game, so to lose in the manner that we did is hard to take," said Glenn Kirkham. "But we've proved we can mix it with the top teams in the world. We've shown here and in the last few months, or years even, that on our day we can beat anybody." However, the result mirrored Wednesday's group stage victory for the world No 2 side.

Britain were already dominant before Middleton found the net in the 11th minute, looping the ball gracefully over goalkeeper Max Weinhold, and Tindall doubled the advantage four minutes later.

Germany came on strong after the break and Butt's tap-in finished a clever German penalty corner after the stranded keeper James Fair had made an initial save.

Britain could have extended their lead as two opportunities were fired wide, and were made to pay as Zwicker beat the plunging Fair with a low reverse-stick swipe from 12 yards.

The game went to two eight-minute periods of golden goal hockey, and Britain agonisingly struck the post from a penalty corner in search of a winner. But while Fair was able to deny the German penalty corner machine, Montag's winner squeezed past him with 11 seconds of the first period remaining.

The England women's bid to reach the Champions Trophy final for the first time ended after they drew 2-2 with New Zealand and Argentina beat China 4-3. England were 2-0 down before Nicola White and Crista Cullen rescued a disappointing draw.

That meant the hosts needed China to avoid defeat, but a late score sent Argentina through on goal difference. England face Germany today in a battle for bronze, before Argentina play Holland in the final.

The Dutch booked their place in the final in yesterday's opening game, beating Germany 1-0, and will be clear favourites to lift the trophy.

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