OLYMPICS / Barcelona 1992: Hockey: German wings take centre stage

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The Independent Online
Great Britain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Germany. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

BRITAIN'S hopes of an appearance in the women's Olympic hockey final were ended here yesterday in the presence of the Princess Royal by the speed and sheer brilliance of Germany's two 18-year- old wingers, Heike Latzsch and Nadine Ernsting.

Latzsch, whose best time for the 100 metres is a creditable 12.1sec, time and time again speeded through and behind Britain's defence to create numerous chances and was to set up the first goal in the 12th minute following a lack of concentration in Britain's defence.

A quickly taken push-in by Britta Becker to Latzsch found the winger dashing behind the defence; a pull- back to the unmarked Ernsting and Germany were in the lead.

Britain had started tentatively and although Karen Brown forced a couple of early penalty corners, Britain's slow corner drill never looked like beating the German goalkeeper, Susi Wollschlaeger, making her 100th appearance for her country.

When Britain did attack it was usually left to lone raids from Jane Sixsmith. With two minutes to the interval, Britain were on terms. Sandie Lister powered her way through the middle with the ball breaking to Vickey Dixon whose quick pass gave Sixsmith the chance of a snap shot.

Although Wollschlaeger blocked the first effort Sixsmith lashed the return through the goalkeeper's legs for her third goal of the tournament.

Casual marking by Britain's defence early in the second half gave Germany the opportunity to go ahead at a couple of penalty corners but saves by Jo Thompson and a block by Mary Nevill kept Britain in contention.

The winning goal from Latzsch came with just 10 minutes remaining. Robbing Kath Johnson on the side-line she cut at speed inside and into the circle to crack a superb shot past Thompson. Britain made a couple of late substitutes but all to no avail.

In the other semi-final, a goal two minutes from the end of extra time gave Spain a 2-1 win over South Korea and a place in the final against Germany. Britain will meet the South Koreans in the play-off for the bronze medal on Friday.

GREAT BRITAIN: J Thompson (Slough); J Atkins (Bradford; S Fraser (Glasgow Western), K Johnson (Leicester), V Dixon (Ipswich); A Ramsay (Glasgow Western), K Brown (Slough), S Lister (Ipswich), W Fraser (Glasgow Western); J Sixsmith (Sutton Coldfield), M Nevill (capt, Leicester). Substitutes: M Nicholls (Ealing) for Brown, 56; T Miller (Clifton) for S Fraser, 65.

GERMANY: S Wollschlaeger (capt); S Thomasinski; K Peters, C Jungjohann, I Kuhnt; B Becker, A Wild, T Dickenscheid; H Latzsch, F Hentschel, N Ernsting. Substitute: E Hagenbaumer for Ernsting, 65.

Umpires: J Mohlmann (Neth) and L Crespo (Arg).

(Photograph omitted)

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