No chance for GB hockey team to claim Investec Cup after defeat to Germany
Thursday, 07 June 2012
June 7 - Britain's women's hockey team finished bottom of their pool here at the Investec Cup and can no longer win the competition after a 2-1 defeat to Germany.
Danny Kerry's GB side (pictured above and below in red strip) may well feel unlucky with their defeat, having enjoyed the best of most of the game.
They went into the game needing a 2-0 win to progress to the semi-finals after losing 3-1 to South Africa on the opening day.
Germany (pictured above and below in white and black strip) then beat South Africa 1-0 in their match yesterday.
Britain pressed from the start, but it was a tight opening to the game with few chances for either side and a penalty corner apiece which came to nothing.
Britain were hit by a sucker punch when Germany broke down the left, with Natascha Keller feeding Janine Beerman who finished clinically.
Kerry's side had barely had a minute to feel sorry for themselves though when they were hit by a swift ruthless counter attack.
Keller was again at the heart of things as she brought the ball down the right hand side, and quick as a flash sent a brilliant cross into the circle which was finished expertly by Hannah Kruger.
Britain continued to dominate proceedings forcing back their opponents and won five penalty corners before half time – rueing the absence of captain Kate Walsh and Crista Cullen, penalty corner experts who might have converted them.
Despite knowing they needed four goals to go through to the semi finals, Britain continued to battle on.
Helen Richardson and Anne Panter showed ingenuity early on in the second half when they combined well to create space in the area and supply Kerry Williams, whose effort went narrowly wide.
Britain continued to press, and sent in a number of dangerous balls across the face of goal, with Susie Gilbert going agonisingly close to getting on the end of one.
Chloe Rogers and Ashleigh Ball in particular played well, eventually making a breakthrough.
Rogers and Gilbert combined to set up Hannah Macleod, who showed good composure to finish past Yvonne Frank with just over ten minutes left.
Britain were unable to get an equaliser though, but it was all academic anyway as they failed to make the semi finals.
Kerry was in upbeat mood afterwards though, and said: "I feel quite proud.
"I genuinely felt we were exceptional.
"We are disappointed a couple of half chances were put away by the Germans.
"Some things we are learning," Kerry added, before pointing to the team's long injury list, which includes Sarah Thomas and Alex Danson as well as Walsh and Cullen.
"Put in that 25 per cent of the squad is missing, and we're looking good.
"I am very proud, Germany took their chances exceptionally well.
"You always want to play in big matches but it does not matter a jot [not being in the semis].
"In a perverse way it might actually help," Kerry said, alluding to the fact that his team can only play one more game now, rather than two in the space of a weekend, when they face Ireland for fifth place.
Germany coach Michael Behmann was pleased with his team too after they booked their last four spot.
"We are very happy...happy we do not have to play early on Saturday morning!
"Britain put a lot of pressure on us but you need these matches to improve the team.
"We defended well in the first half and scored at the right moment.
"We have lost many matches against Britain in the last four years so it is good to see we are not far away."
In the day's other game, the Netherlands (pictured above in orange and white strip) secured their last four place with a superb win over Ireland (pictured above in green and white strip).
The world number one ranked side and reigning Olympic champions crushed the Irish 5-0, with Kelly Jonker scoring a hat trick, while Marilyn Agliotti and Ellen Hoog also found the net.
"We are pretty happy with the way it went," said Dutch coach Max Caldas afterwards.
"We are lucky enough to have competition in the squad."
The Netherlands will now face South Africa in the semi-finals on Saturday (June 9), whilst Germany take on Australia in the other last four game.
June 2012: Australia and Germany hockey victories mean both could reach Investec semi-finals
June 2012: Britain stunned by South Africa in Investec Cup opener
June 2012: Kerry juggles injury-hit GB women's hockey line-up for Investec tournament