England finish bottom of pool despite victory against Germany

England women celebrate their third goal against Germany at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 - Photo by Ady Kerry

England registered their first win at the Rabobank World Cup with a 3-1 victory over Germany in their final Pool B match. The three points however weren’t enough to lift England off the bottom of the pool standings which means that Jason Lee’s side will have to battle it out for 11th place on Thursday against Belgium.

GERMANY 1 (0)
Hannah Kruger 56 (PC)

ENGLAND 3 (0)
Hannah Macleod 44 (FG)
Susie Gilbert 49 (FG)
Susannah Townsend 55 (FG)

The women’s World Cup Semi Finals take place on Thursday with host nation the Netherlands facing Argentina [the top two sides in the world] and the USA against Australia.

Before the game birthday girl Sally Walton received flowers from Performance Director Danny Kerry to mark her 150th England & GB appearance.

After the game England goal scorer Susie Gilbert said: “It was the win we’ve been looking for throughout the tournament. We’ve obviously been bitterly disappointed throughout the last ten days so it’s nice to get that win finally. We focus on the task in hand now. We’ll recover well tomorrow and focus on Belgium. We need to play with no fear going forwards and defend diligently like we did in that game."

The first half of the game was a cagey affair as both sides took some time to settle. A penalty corner for Germany halfway through the first half threatened to unbalance the scores, but the hit was sent above the backboard. With only a handful of other half chances the sides went into the break goal-less.

Everything changed in the second half, as England started to play with more confidence and their attacking play was more effective. The breakthrough came nine minutes into the half as Hannah Macleod span the ball around German keeper Barbara Vogel to give England a 1-0 lead. Five minutes later England doubled their advantage as Susie Gilbert fired a shot from the top of the circle which was deflected by a German defender into the goal.

In the 55th minute Susannah Townsend made it 3-0 to England; the midfielder got away from Hannah Kruger outside Germany’s circle and rifled a shot straight through Vogel. Germany pulled a goal back a minute later through Kruger, but England saw the game out to seal the 3-1 victory and earn their first points at the tournament.

Click here to find out squad and caps information and to see the other results at the tournament.

England Head Coach Jason Lee also had this to say after the game: "The problem in the opening games for us was that we tried to play open, attacking hockey. When we didn’t take our chances it made it very difficult for us to pick up the wins we needed. When you play that way you leave yourselves open to conceding goals, so if you are unable to take your chances, you lose games.”

“Against Argentina and again today, we went back to basics and closed the games down. We were much more compact and much tighter which gave us a chance. We were a bit unlucky against Argentina but today we put away our chances and were much more difficult to break down, meaning we picked up the win. I’m pleased for the girls, but not pleased with how things have gone overall.”

England women’s 11th/12th play-off will be on Thursday at 1000 (BST). England men’s next game will be on Friday in the Semi Final of the World Cup at either 1415 or 1700 BST.

All matches at the World Cup are being shown live on Sky Sports with expert analysis from a host of international stars including Kwan Browne, Helen Richardson-Walsh and Chloe Rogers.

You can find the men's and women's tournament schedules in our International Fixtures section, or all of them together here.

Watch England on home turf at the Investec London Cup on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This is the first tournament to be at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, hockey’s legacy stadium, and will be held across five days from 9th – 13th July. Tickets are available from englandhockey.co.uk/tickets