England men face a battle for a semi-final spot in pool B

England’s thrilling 3-4 loss to the Netherlands on Monday evening has left them level on three points with Ireland in pool B of the EuroHockey Nations Championships in Moenchengladbach, Germany.

But with Ireland to play the undefeated Netherlands on Wednesday and England to play the pointless French, England look the most likely side to take the second semi-final spot available from the pool.

If games go as expected England would then play the so-far undefeated Germany. The Germans seem likely to win pool A with only the hapless Russians left to play, also on Wednesday.

After England’s loss to the Netherlands, coach Jason Lee said: “I’m frustrated with the result, frustrated with part of the performance. We vave been erratic this summer. But if we are going to lose gamed I’d like it to be the exciting games.” He said the result could have been different if England had showm more composure in the second half.

“I’d quite like to play the Dutch again this week, because it’s exciting and it would give us another shot,” Lee said. Netherlands goals came from a Billy Bakker hat-trick and a Taeke Taekema penalty stroke. England’s Matt Daly scored twice and Ashley Jackson once in a very high quality match with no penalty corner goals.

England play France at 1pm local (12noon UK) on Wednesday. The Netherlands Ireland game is at 6pm local.