• Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Clinical Germany Inflict GB Men's First Defeat Of Tokyo 2020

Germany 5 (1)

Fuchs (15’, PC; 51’, FG; 60’, PC); Ruhr (35’, FG); Weigand (42’, FG) 

Great Britain 1 (1)

Roper (9’, FG)

A stunning second half performance saw Germany end Great Britain’s unbeaten start to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Florian Fuchs scored a hat-trick and Christopher Ruhr produced an exquisite finish to give Germany their second victory of the Games.

Phil Roper had opened the scoring with a brilliant finish in the ninth minute before Ruhr equalised at the end of the first quarter. He then scored twice more in the final quarter to add to goals from Ruhr and Justus Weigand.

The result means Great Britain’s men sit third in Pool B at the time of writing on six points with two games left to play.

Following yesterday’s victory over Canada, Danny Kerry’s men were hoping to record a third straight victory against a side they had beaten twice in the FIH Hockey Pro League in May.

But it was Germany who started on the front foot, with Weigand missing from close range early on before Tom Sorsby cleared a partially charged down corner off the line.

With their first chance of the game Great Britain took the lead, Roper slamming the ball beyond Alex Stadler from the top of the circle.

Both sides then saw corners saved before Ollie Payne produced a great save from close range in the final minute of the quarter. However there was still time for Germany to win another corner and Fuchs was perfectly positioned to deflect the ball in between Payne and Tom Sorsby.

Neither side was able to add to the scoreline in the second quarter, with Payne producing three brilliant saves from close range while Chris Griffiths’ wicked shot was palmed away from goal by Stadler.

Phil Roper had given Great Britain the lead in the ninth minute. Credit: World Sport Pics

Ruhr then produced a moment of magic five minutes into the second half, lifting the ball into the roof of the net from an acute angle, to give Germany the lead for the first time.

Both Roper and Liam Ansell had chances to level but couldn’t find a way past Stadler before Weigand struck three minute before the end of the quarter, finishing from close range after a great run by Mats Grambusch.

Fuchs then added two more in the final quarter to complete his hat-trick, the first a cross-come-shot deflected beyond Payne before he pounced on a rebound at a corner in the final minute.

After the game, Kerry said: "We simply weren’t at the races first half and were lucky to go in level. 

"The second half was ironically more purposeful but a card against us killed the momentum and Germany capitalised. 

"The step up in level from our previous matches was the lesson we needed. We will need to take that lesson.“

Captain Adam Dixon added: "We can't take that game in isolation. This is just a little hiccup. It hurts a little bit more because it's Germany but we've got to pick ourselves up because we've got two big games and we want to finish this pool stage off in a strong position. We'll be kicking ourselves after that result today but we've got to turn it around in 48 hours' time.

"The positive is that we can still improve tenfold from what we've put out in this tournament so far, we've still not peaked. If we can start putting things together the next two games should be quite exciting."

Next up for Great Britain’s men is an enticing encounter against The Netherlands at 04:15 BST on Thursday 29 July. Before that, the women face India at 02:00 BST on Wednesday 28 July hoping to record their second win.

Starting XI: Ames, Draper, Shipperley, Griffiths, Sloan, Roper, Dixon (C), Payne (GK), Ansell, Sanford, Wallace

Subs: Ward, Creed, Waller, Gall, Sorsby