England scrape a win over Germany to ease relegation fears

[img_assist|nid=2743|title=Vital win|desc=Crista Cullen and Jana Teschke have a joust as England defeat Germany 1-0 (c) Andy Smith|link=node|align=right|width=250|height=317]England hung on for a 1-0 win over Germany in the Rabo FIH Champions Trophy, a victory that slightly eased the prospect of relegation to the Champions Challenge.

With the International Hockey Federation executive committee meeting today, the format and relegation/promotion here for the 2012 Trophy and Challenge is still not clear. England coach Danny Kerry has said that the 2012 Trophy is important to Great Britain’s Olympiic preparations. Fifth place here in Amsterdam is the only safe option at the moment, making the win over Germany vital.

Alex Danson broke the deadlock in the 50th minute with a quick shot one-on-one with German goalie Yvonne Frank. The move had been set up by work down the right by Laura Unsworth and a good pass to Danson from Hannah Macleod.

“First half awful, second half marginally better,” said Kerry.

“Today’s is a win you put down to winnig through resilience rather than great play. I am proud of the girls resilience but we need to play better.”

Keeper Beth Storry made a string of fine saves in the  last five minutes as Germany pushed for an equaliser.

A win over Australia at 2.30pm (1.30pm UK) on Friday will ensure a place in the Sunday’s fifth/sixth place playoff. Fifth spot should make England safe.