England and Scotland’s women both suffered defeats on the fourth day of action at the 2021 EuroHockey Championships.
After their impressive 4-0 victory over Italy the day before, losing 2-0 to Germany was somewhat of a disappointment for England as they struggled to assert authority over their highly disciplined opponents.
Scotland – who lost their opening game 4-1 to Spain – can count themselves unlucky to have been beaten by Ireland after a fine defensive display, only to see their opponents score a winner in the final quarter.
England’s women began their game brightly, Ellie Rayer racing into the circle in the first minute before Anna Toman had a corner cleared off the line. But the Germans soon turned the momentum in their favour and opened the scoring in the eighth minute as Sonja Zimmermann fired the ball home after her initial corner effort was saved.
Charlotte Stapenhorst had a goal ruled out but there was no stopping Jette Fleschutz’s thunderous strike in the 32nd minute to double the German lead. England finally managed to gain some possession in the final quarter and created a couple of chances of their own but ultimately it was to be to no avail.
The result means they currently lie third in their group on three points, behind Germany and Belgium who both have four. As a result, England must beat the Belgians when they meet at 16:00 on Wednesday 9 June to reach the semi-finals.
Scotland ‘keeper Amy Gibson was kept very busy in the opening quarter of their game against Ireland, having to race off her line twice to deny opposing strikers before Sarah Robertson denied Anna O’Flanagan with some impressive 3D skills in front of her own goal.
Ireland dominated much of the possession and won several corners but the Scottish defence held firm, throwing their bodies in front of everything, while they also had chances of their own at the start of the second half. But the pressure eventually told as Naomi Carroll fired home in the 46th minute for the game’s only goal.
They currently sit fourth in Pool A with only The Netherlands left to play, the two sides meeting at 19:00 on Wednesday 9 June.
Tomorrow sees the conclusion of the men’s group stages, with England hoping to keep up their 100% record so far when they play Spain at 16:00. A point will be enough to see them qualify for the semi-finals and also book their place at the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup.
Following their impressive win over France at the weekend, Wales still have a strong chance of also making the semi-finals when they play The Netherlands at 19:00. Both games will be shown on BT Sport 1.