Vitality England Women’s Hockey Team go down 0-5 against the hosts Germany in their second match of Pool B at the EuroHockey Championship 2023.
Lena Micheel (38′), Sonja Zimmermann (41′), Jette Fleschütz (46′, 59′) and Pauline Heinz (41′) were the goal scorers for the home side.
The opening minutes of the match saw both teams exchanging attacks, with the hosts slightly dominating the possession. They earned their first penalty corner of the match in the sixth minute, but couldn’t convert it. Minutes later Lena Micheel took the shot on target, but the English goalkeeper Sabbie Heesh made a comfortable save.
England kept losing the ball in the midfield, and sat deep inside their own half, allowing the Germans to make timely circle entries. However, the hosts couldn’t take advantage of the ball possession, ending the opening quarter at 0-0.
Germany earned as many as three penalty corners in the very first minute of the second quarter, but England’s defence led by goalie Heesh denied the home side from breaking the deadlock. Germany piled pressure on England’s defence with relentless forays, but couldn’t make much of it.
England, on the other hand, also had a fair share of chances, making inroads inside their opponent’s half but couldn’t find spaces as the German defence stood tall to keep them at bay. Thus, neither side could break the deadlock in the first half.
Heesh, who stood like a wall in the first half, was tested again at the start of the third quarter. She made one more save to deny the Germans from scoring. Germany continued in the same vein and were successful in breaking the deadlock through Micheel’s deflection during a well-worked penalty corner routine.
They went on to double the lead through Zimmermann’s strike from yet another penalty corner routine in the 41st minute of the match. With less than a minute to go, Germany earned their 10th penalty corner of the match, but Heesh made yet another fine save.
The German onslaught continued as they went on to score add two more goals inside the first four minutes of the fourth quarter. Fleschütz scored the third goal in the 46th minute, while Heinz added the team’s fourth goal in the 49th minute.
Looking for a goal, England showcased urgency in the final 10 minutes of the match. They created half chances, but Germany’s defence denied them from scoring.
It was an end-to-end action in the closing stage of the match, both teams took turns in attack. Germany had their 11th penalty corner, but couldn’t convert it. They added their fifth goal to the tally through Fleschütz from an open play, thus racing away with a 5-0 win.
Reflecting on the match, Head Coach David Ralph said, “Disappointed, not just with the results, but how we played today. The first half was kind of okay. Germany punished us in the second half, and we lost our way after we conceded a few goals, so tough day for us at the office.”
“We’ve got experienced players in the team, who have had ups and downs of the tournaments, some of our younger players are going through for the first time. But you know, we have got enough experience within the group. We will get together tonight, refocus and reframe on what we need to think about over the next 40 hours or so before we face Scotland,” he added.