England withstand big German pressure to hold on for women’s Pool B draw

Posted On 19th August 2019

Belfius EuroHockey Championships
Women’s Pool B
Germany 1 (H Gablac) England 1 (L Owsley)
Germany could not convert a dominant second half performance into all three points as England dug deep to keep out their opponents and earn a 1-1 draw in women’s Pool B.

The result lifts both sides onto four points as Lily Owsley gave England a half-time lead before Hannah Gablac got the German goal in their second half comeback.

In the initial exchanges, Germany were the ones to get the ball rolling, winning a third minute penalty corner – a rare injection from the right-side – which didn’t work out while Pia Maertens hit the side of the goal.

England replied in kind, using the pace of Ellie Rayer and Jo Hunter as well as the forceful charges of Lily Owsley to strike at the heart of the German defence.

Amelie Wortmann and Rebecca Grote both were sin-binned for halting such attacks with their tackles. An Izzy Petter reverse served notice of their intent while Giselle Ansley’s drag-flick was stopped high up by Julia Sonntag.

The goal was coming and it was a Hunter baseline run that unlocked the defence, finding Owsley unattended at the back post with time to control and flick into the goal.

The third quarter saw a big change in momentum, however, with Cecile Pieper firing a powerful shot of the post in the 40th minute. Laura Unsworth had to save a drag-flick off the line but from the ensuing long corner, Anne Schroder weaved in and out of a couple of tackles, crossing to Gablac who finished from close range. That equaliser came with four seconds remaining in the quarter.

And it became an onslaught in the closing quarter with Nike Lorenz’s rasping shot palmed away by Maddie Hinch and Shona McCallin became the next player to save off the line.

From a Holly Pearne-Webb crash ball, Owsley almost nicked in but Sonntag was off her line quickly and she also palmed away a Rayer shot.

Reflecting on the game, Owsley was disappointed her side could not match their first half performance in the second.

“Frustrated by the scoreline and we should have put it to bed; 1-0 at half-time, we knew we had to get the next goal but it didn’t happen today, it didn’t happen yesterday [against Ireland]. Two games in a row we have let the other team back in which is a big learning point, especially going into knock-out games.

“A point against a good side like that is good but it means we need to put more than 13 away against Belarus [to top the group].”

Belgian coach Xavier Reckinger, meanwhile, added the result “was clearly due to the energy that we invested in the first half. That was not enough.

“I am glad that there was a clear increase in the second half. We have to take that to the Ireland game. I expect a similar game because they could have won in the game against England. It’s like a quarter-final for us now and we’ll be preparing for it.”

Kira Horn added: “It took us a while to get into the game and at half-time we said that we had to pull ourselves together. If the game had been longer, we would have won. I’m sure. The focus is now on Ireland.”

Umpires: L Delforge (BEL), C Druijts (NED)

Germany – England
24’ Lily Owsley (FG) 0-1
45’ Hannah Gablac (FG) 1-1

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