Hockey: England stunned by fast goal

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The Independent Online
England 0 Germany 1

DISASTER struck for England 64 seconds into their third game in the Six Nations' Sultan Azlan Shah Cup here yesterday when the German captain, Christian Blunck, caught them unawares from the top of the circle after a cross from Patrick Bellenbaum for the only goal in a dour, niggly game.

Seldom are encounters between England and Germany attractive and this game was no exception with 122 infringements being recorded. Neither umpire made any effort to penalise the German blocking tactics with anything more than a free hit and consequently the game became a tedious midfield contest.

With Russell Garcia introduced into the fray after 12 minutes, England began to create a number of chances without being able to find the finish. England also failed from two first-half penalty corners.

The pattern of play was much the same in an undistinguished second half. England failed to take advantage of the Germans being reduced to 10 men for the final five minutes following the suspension of Blunck for a tackle on Justin Pidcock.

England's coach Barry Dancer, said: "I am happy with the performance today, in particular with the improvement in each game although we did not always take the right options. If you had said we would have held Germany to one goal when we arrived here I would have been very pleased."

ENGLAND: S Mason (Reading); B Garrard (Teddington), J Halls (HDM), J Wyatt (Reading), B Waugh (Southgate, capt); Kalbir Takher (Cannock), J Pidcock (Cannock), N Thompson (Old Loughtonians); B Sharpe (Cannock), J Lee (Old Loughtonians), M Pearn (Reading). Substitutes used: R Garcia (HDM), C Mayer (Cannock), A Humphrey (Cannock), Manpreet Kochar (Reading).

GERMANY: N Kowalczek; M Green; A Lante, J-P Tewes, M Elmer; P Bellenbaum, C Mayerhofer, C Elmer; M Waldhauser, C Blunck Capt. O Domke. Substitutes used: M Schreiber, S Reineit, P Crone.

Umpires: J Wright (SA) Jin Soo Han (Kor).