The Fans of HockeyWorld Hockey NewsEngland beat Olympic Champions Germany in HWL

A strong team performance from England saw them secure all three points against world number one side Germany to go top of Pool A at the Hero Hockey World League Final in New Delhi.

Ashley Jackson celebrates his 50th goal for England, during match against Germany at the Hero Hockey World League Final 2014 in New Delhi

Ashley Jackson celebrates his 50th goal for England, during match against Germany at the Hero Hockey World League Final 2014 in New Delhi

Goals from Tom Carson and Ashley Jackson in the first-half proved to be enough to earn England the victory and put them in a really good position going into their final pool game against New Zealand on Monday.

Speaking after the game England Head Coach Bobby Crutchley said, “It was nice to get a win today, especially against a team as strong as Germany. We defended well throughout the game and kept Germany at bay, but we had to defend a bit too much for my liking. When the pressure came on us and they stepped up we just weren’t quite strong enough on the ball. Having said that, when we did come away with it I thought we looked a consistent threat on the counter-attack and that secured the three points for us today.”

Looking ahead to the game against New Zealand on Monday, Crutchley knows the areas to improve, adding: “We kept getting our shape wrong at times, but that’s only because we lack a bit of match practice and I know that will improve as the tournament goes on. I’d like us to retain the ball under pressure and push forward more. I know the team is capable of sustaining longer periods of attacking play and it’s a case of us looking to get a little bit better every game.”

Speaking on team’s performance Germany Coach Markus Weise said “the England team proved to be a better team and they deserved to win. Disappointed with today’s performance and hoping for a good show in the next game. Our next game is with India and we will play to win”.

It took just four minutes for Reading’s Tom Carson to put his stamp on the match and give England a 1-0 lead. A quick ball into the circle from Ashley Jackson found Carson, who with his back to goal pulled the ball away from Linus Butt and as he turned he fired a shot home with pin-point accuracy into the far right corner past Nicolas Jacobi in Germany’s goal. Unfortunately the lead didn’t last long and in the 11th minute Marco Miltkau took advantage of a scramble in front of goal to make it 1-1.

England sat quite deep in defence for much of the game, but Iain Lewers and his defensive line did a superb job keeping the world number one side out and England looked a threat everytime they counter-attacked. In the 21st minute a trademark Jackson drag-flick took a deflection off a German stick and proved to be the decisive goal as the score moved to 2-1. The goal marked Jackson’s 50th goal in an England shirt and the team were clearly enjoying having him back in the side following several months on the sidelines after ankle surgery back in July.

The second-half was played out to a goalless draw, but certainly didn’t lack action. Germany continued to push hard and drive at England’s defence, but with the help of George Pinner in England’s goal and a gutsy all-round team performance, England dug deep and closed down all of Germany’s chances to play out the game and take a deserved 2-1 victory.

Speaking after the game the Hero Man of the Match, Ashley Jackson said, “It was a tough game against Germany out there today; it is always a physical encounter, but it’s a battle we look forward to as a team. Hopefully we’ll be playing them again later on in the tournament because you know if you’re up against them you’re generally at the right end of the draw in the closing stages. Hopefully another good performance against New Zealand on Monday will put us in the best possible position for the knock-out stages.”

Adding his thoughts on the importance on playing as a team, Jackson said: “The team performance is everything. It doesn’t matter how many individual awards you pick up, if you’re not winning and playing as a team then you’re never going to get that far. As you saw we defended very hard out there; George Pinner is rock in goal for us at the back which is great to see and that just breeds confidence for us across the rest of the pitch.”

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