Great Britain teams victorious over Germany in second matches
- Credit: Archant
It was a day to remember for the men’s and women’s teams of Great Britain, who both recorded FIH Hockey Pro League wins on Day 2 of their double headers against the national teams of Germany.
Great Britain’s men claimed a 3-1 victory over Germany – who they will face in the pool phase of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – to add to Wednesday’s 5-3 triumph, with Danny Kerry’s men capturing all six points from their double header against the Olympic bronze medallists from Rio 2016.
The double success leaves Great Britain sixth in the standings, boosting their win percentage – which will be crucial to the outcome of the league this year – to 36.7. Germany's win percentage has dropped to 63.3, but Die Honamas remain second behind Belgium in the FIH Hockey Pro League table.
While not quite reaching the same levels of excitement achieved in Wednesday’s thrilling first game, the second encounter was evenly balanced for long periods. Great Britain took a stranglehold on the game in the minutes before half time, with Chris Griffiths and Alan Forsyth both netting from open play to put their team on course for victory.
Germany rattled the crossbar in the third quarter and piled on the pressure in the final stages before GB put the game to bed thanks to Rupert Shipperley’s diving finish, which added gloss to a superb counter-attack started by GB defender and man of the Match David Ames. Germany’s Niklas Wellen pulled a goal back late on, but it did not stop Great Britain from claiming a second successive victory over Die Honamas.
When asked if he enjoyed the victory, GB’s David Ames said: "Yes, for large parts. 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 ten minutes and got a really good result. It's been a good few days."
Great Britain’s women bounced back from Wednesday’s 3-2 defeat to claim a 2-0 win in their second encounter with Germany. The result sees Great Britain improve their win percentage to 46.67 but remain sixth in the standings, with Germany dropping to fourth with 58.33.
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It was a vastly improved performance from the team coached by Mark Hager, who scored both of their goals in the second quarter before showing discipline and defensive resilience to see out the result. Anna Toman’s deflected penalty corner strike put Great Britain ahead in the 23rd minute before Susannah Townsend netted her second goal in two games with another deflected strike.
"It was great to get the win, much more enjoyable [than the defeat on Wednesday]” said Great Britain’s Sarah Evans, who was named Player of the Match. “All over the pitch I think you could see that we were on the front foot, more aggressive, and able to win the ball higher up the pitch."
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On the build-up towards GB’s title defence at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – where like their men they will face Germany in the pool phase – Evans said: "It's great to play matches like this in the build-up. We are gaining great momentum now, having also played Ireland [recently], and each time we are stepping our game up. We are really confident with how these matches have gone, but we just have to step it up further and progress through to the Olympics."