Bhubaneswar: Germany started their Men’s World Hockey League Finals (HWLF) campaign on a winning note with a 2-0 win against England in the tournament-opener at the nearly-packed Kalinga Stadium here, Friday. Mats Grambusch and Christopher Ruhr struck once for the winners.
It was good clean hockey as both teams made their aggressive intents clear from the start. England had the first shot at the goal but Mark Gleghorne’s try from inside the box didn’t have enough power to trouble German goalkeeper Tobias Walter in the seventh minute.
Thereafter, the Germans slowly and steadily got into their groove and scored the first goal of the tournament in the 19th minute through Grambusch who slotted home a Niklas Bruns assist from inside the circle past keeper George Pinner in front of the England goal.
In the 25th minute, the Germans doubled their lead through another field strike from Ruhr to go into half time with a comfortable lead.
The Englishmen were expected to make a strong comeback after the change of ends but the Germans did not allow that.
England only once came close to reducing the margin in the 41st minute through skipper Phil Roper, but he failed to his shot on target from close.
Germany would have made it 3-0 two minutes later had Pinner not made a brilliant diving save off a Ruhr shot. Ruhr had another attempt, a minute later,
Meanwhile speaking to reporters after the match Germany skipper Martin Haner stated that they found it difficult initially to adjust to the pace of the England attack. “We were however, quick to turn things around from the second quarter,” stated Haner.