England Men lost their opening Odisha Hockey World League Final tournament game 2-0 to Germany in Bhubaneswar.

England had a good opening quarter, Mark Gleghorne forcing an early save from German goalkeeper Tobias Walter. Sam Ward also went close with a deflection from a pass from Surbiton’s David Goodfield.

From the second quarter onwards, Germany started to dominate possession. Surbiton’s Harry Gibson took over from starting goalkeeper, George Pinner in the second and fourth quarters.

Germany took the lead in the 19th minute, Martin Zwicker and Florian Fuchs combining for Mats Grambusch to finish with an angled shot.

Seven minutes later, Christopher Rühr found the backboard after being unmarked in the England circle to double Germany’s lead.

Neither side forced a penalty corner although Germany were awarded a set piece in the 39th minute, only for Liam Sanford to request a video referral to prove that the ball didn’t touch a foot in the circle. The referral was upheld.

Germany were shorthanded on two occasions in the fourth quarter, Dan Nguyen receiving a second green card in the 47th minute, with Niklas Bruns seeing yellow two minutes later.

With Nguyen in the sin-bin for the second time, England came close to pulling a goal back. Sam Ward came close to touching the ball from a cross into the circle. After viewing the various camera angles and blurry pictures, the TV umpire decided that no advice was possible, the goal not able to be awarded.

Germany maintained most of the possession towards the end of the game to run out the clock and win the first match of the tournament.

Most of Surbiton’s players came on as substitutes. James Gall and Luke Taylor came on in the third minute and Goodfield entered the action a minute later. Brendan Creed was not used along with Harry Martin and David Ames.

More information about the tournament can be found at the FIH website here

The England Hockey match report can be found here