Monday, June 27, 2022

Olympics Hockey: Germany in cruise control over hapless Great Britain

Germany men moved through the gears with Autobahn speed, precision and class in poor Tokyo weather as they continued their Olympic dominance over Great Britain on Tuesday with a fine 5-1 win.

In their first serious Tokyo test, Great Britain were completely undone by defensive lapses and the brilliance of Christopher Ruhr – headband on, arms outstretched in celebration after a superb individual goal – and Florian Fuchs’ hat-trick.

The last time these two played came at Athens 2004 as Germany rolled out 4-1 winners. From a Greek tragedy to Tokyo turmoil here, as Germany dominated a second-half following some bright early signs from Danny Kerry’s men.

A fierce Tom Sorsby turnover tackle on half-way saw a sea of red gallop towards Germany’s goal, Phil Roper firing home a forehand high up in the D in the ninth minute.

Fuchs then tipped in from a well-worked penalty corner routine with the last move of the first quarter.

The game remained level until half-time, but Germany’s second was worth the wait.

Martin Haner, looking for a direct route from inside the Great Britain half, slapped to an unmarked Ruhr near to GB’s baseline before somehow lifting from a tight angle on the left past a powerless Ollie Payne.

Chasing the game in the third quarter, goalkeeper Alex Stadler’s quick thinking quelled Liam Ansell’s attempt after a thunderous volley. Put through from a pinpoint aerial, Ansell was clear in the D but for the advancing Stadler and a glancing glove.

Minutes later, GB were left floundering at the back post as Justus Weigand angled home, totally unmarked two yards out.

Germany were a united team by now and there was no way back for Great Britain, who only had one penalty corner chance.

A second European showdown arrives on Thursday for Kerry’s side in the form of Holland, the European champions.

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