After the chaos, the control. Great Britain men recorded back-to-back victories against Germany for the first time since reunification thanks to a classy 3-1 win on Wednesday at a deserted Lee Valley.
Britain’s victory over the Germans in Moenchengladbach during the 2019 Pro League was a first over their old rivals since the 2000 Olympics. Two years on and these eight goals over two more FIH Pro League games, against an albeit weakened Germany team, gave Danny Kerry’s side plenty to savour, which culminated with a bulldog British move to cap a fine evening.
Chris Griffiths netted his second goal in as many days, firing low on the turn, while Alan Forsyth scored his first of the week with a gentle tap-in. Sam Ward was again in the mix as provider.
Germany’s best passages of play came at 2-0 down. Having hit the bar, GB were in tune with the visitor’s PCs, though No 1 runner Liam Sanford felt the full brunt from a high ball hit flush into his left hand from close range. The spirited defender was soon back on the field.
The same quarter saw Phil Roper face a crunching one-on-one tackle with the diving Victor Aly, whose stick upended the Briton. Roper’s left thigh seemed to come worse off and it remains to be seen the extent of the injury.
Germany continued to look menacing but with six minutes left, a superb move – started with pressing intentions by player of the match David Ames – saw Ansell and Wallace link up and ended on the dive by Rupert Shipperley. After soaking the pressure, it was fine counter-attacking fare.
Germany scored a consolation two minutes from time thanks to Niklas Wellen’s brilliant individual goal, running into the circle from the left and finishing past Ollie Payne, playing a full game for the second match.
Ames said: “We got a little nervous towards the back end of the second half. I think we always knew that Germany would put us under pressure. But credit to the boys, I think we dug in really well in the last 10 minutes, and got a really good result. It’s been a good few days.”