Saturday, December 9, 2023

Euro Hockey 2021: Germany men prevail over spirited England

Germany pressed the reset button on their EuroHockey Championships in emphatic, pugnacious fashion as they beat England for the fifth time at the men’s semi-final stage following a frenetic first quarter blitz and then a spirited team performance in a deserved 3-2 win. Little wonder it left standout Martin Zwicker to admit: “We worked our asses off and we deserved it so much.”

If only there were more bums on seats to watch this one in a non-Covid time. An opening minute goal and two more strikes either side of an Adam Dixon leveller left England, who matched the Germans for large passages of play, with too much work to counter young Alex Stadler’s brilliance in goal and Christopher Ruhr’s and Zwicker’s outstanding work rate.

The Tokyo Olympics simply can’t come soon enough if this latest 60 minutes of EuroHockey entertainment was anything to go by, in an already increasingly madcap tournament. And Martin Haner’s penalty corner hors d’oeuvre inside 60 seconds suggested another thrillfest.

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