England 0 (0)
Germany 2 (1)
Zimmerman (8’, PC); Fleschutz (32', FG)
England’s women suffered their first defeat of the 2021 EuroHockey Championships after being beaten by a solid German team in Amsterdam.
After initially starting brightly, England struggled to assert dominance over their well drilled opponents in what was Hollie Pearne-Webb's 100th appearance for the country, with chances coming at a premium.
At the other end, Maddie Hinch produced several fine saves but could do nothing to keep out strikes from Sonja Zimmermann and Jette Fleschutz.
The result means England sit third in their group on three points, behind both Germany and Belgium who have four points. They will need to beat the Belgians in their final group game on Wednesday to qualify for the semi-finals.
England started the game full of confidence following their 4-0 win over Italy the previous day, Ellie Rayer racing into the circle in the first minute before Anna Toman’s corner slap shortly after was brilliantly cleared off the line.
But a green card for Fiona Crackles in the seventh minute turned the tide, with Zimmerman pouncing on a rebound after her initial corner was saved to give the Germans the lead.
Three more corners followed for the 2019 runners-up but they couldn’t add a second, the first two ending up wide of the target before Hinch stopped another effort from Zimmerman and the subsequent rebound.
Charlotte Stapenhorst thought she had doubled her team’s lead in the 20th minute with a stunning finish on the reverse but it was ruled out after a review after the ball was deemed to have hit the back of her stick in the build up.
After that, Mark Hager’s side managed to increase their percentage of but were unable to fashion any chances before the break, while in the dying moments of the half Hinch had to race off her line to close down Cecile Pieper.
There was nothing the goalkeeper could do to keep out Fleschutz’s effort two minutes into the third quarter though, the German midfielder firing the ball into the top corner from the top of the circle.
The Germans only increased their pressure after that too, winning three quarters in succession shortly afterwards but were unable to add to their tally.
England finally managed to start dictating the play at the start of the final quarter, with Lily Owsley’s shot on the turn saved by Julia Sonntag before Susannah Townsend just failed to get enough of a deflection on Giselle Ansley’s corner.
But a yellow card for Fiona Crackles with six minutes remaining killed any momentum that was building and allowed Germany to see the game out with relative ease.
After the game, head coach Hager said: "I'm disappointed not only with result but also our ability to control tempo of the match. We've got lots of things to learn as we move our focus on to our game against Belgium on Wednesday."
Starting XI: Hinch (GK), Unsworth, Evans, Toman, Townsend, Rayer, Ansley, Pearne-Webb (C), Owsley, Balsdon, Petter
Subs (Used): Burge, Sanders, Neal, Hunter, Ledesma, Crackles
Subs (Unused): Heesh (GK)