01 December 2009

2009 ABN-AMRO Hockey Champions Trophy - Men - Melbourne Match 1

Well the first two rounds have been played and in my humble opinion the quality of hockey has been incredibly high. 

Round One
England v Germany
What I didn't know leading into this match is that match is a replay of the European Championships and that England defeated Germany 5 - 2. The other interesting fact is that England haven't been in the Champions Trophy since 2001.
The first thing to note is which the speed of the game has changed. The new play on free hit rule has changed things for the better. It was brought in to punish deliberate penalties that slow the play down, which doesn't sit well with the German style of play. The second is that the England team are really benefiting from the investment by their government in preparations for the next Olympics.

The first goal occurred in the 10th minute. Germany had a sideline shot on their right had side roughly at the 25yard line. Wess runs the ball across field and then fires the ball into the top of the circle, Deecke misses the trap but the ball bobbles over the stick of the English defender and it moves two metres left of the goal. Mencke manges a reverse stick shot past the keeper and it hits the far side of the goal. 1-nil to Germany.

In the 12th minute England force a penalty corner by playing the ball onto the foot of a German defender after a beautiful give and go run into the circle by Middleton, Kirkham and Brogdon. On the penalty corner the trapper Wilson, fails to deliver the ball to the shooter Tindall. Wilson holds onto the ball and passes it right to Jackson who reverse sticks it the right post where Tindall deflects it into the goal. 1 - 1.

In the early stages of the second half the Germans request to use the new video review that is being trialled during the tournament. A Penalty Stroke was awarded against the Germans and after the review it was overturned and the video umpire gave the Germans the 16 hit.

The 43rd minute saw Germany's first Penalty Corner conversion. They opted for play number one with a drag flick by Montag into the middle right of the net. 2 - 1 Germany.

In the 61st minute England builds up the play down the left hand side of the field and Jackson runs along the 25 and passes the ball into the circle at the left post to Middleton who's initial shot is stopped by the keeper. The ball rebounds back to Middleton who then flicks the ball back at the goal and the ball hits the body of the German defender Woesch and the Penalty Stroke is awarded and Middleton camly fires it passed the keeper low and to the left. 2 - 2

Over the next three minutes England successfully defend two consecutive penalty corners from the Germans however in the 66th minute a third is awarded to Germany after increasing pressure down the right hand side of the  field. Again they set up for option one however a variation is made. The main striker dummies a flick at the goal and slides the ball right to Maximillian Muller who from point blank range puts the ball over the keeper's shoulder.
The remaining two minutes see England attempt some desperate passing and play but it results in turnovers and Germany runs the clock down.

The game was a great start to the tournament. England played a fast flowing game and Germany played their traditional defensive style and relied on their penalty corners for their goals. England will be the suprise package of this tournament however they now need to beat Spain to stay alive.
Here are the Goals

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