A super opening goal from German forward Charlotte Stapenhorst signalled her team's intent as Germany put four goals past England to reverse the previous day's results. Later, in the men's match between the two nations, Germany showed their character as they clung onto a 3-2 lead despite spending most of the final quarter with 10 players on the pitch.
Germany vs England (women) - Sparkassen Park, Mönchengladbach (GER)
A fantastically taken goal from Charlotte Stapenhörst in the second minute put England on the back foot in the second encounter between the two teams within 24 hours. Stapenhörst burst into the circle and slammed the ball without preamble past Miriam Pritchard in the England goal. Four minutes later and Germany were on the attack again. Cecile Pieper scrambled the ball towards the goal but it was Nike Lorenz who dragged the ball out of the melee and lifted it into the goal.
England came back into the game in the second quarter, creating their own chances. A series of penalty corners saw England captain Hollie Pearne-Webb attempting to slap the ball past Julia Sonntag in the German goal but at the end of the quarter it was still Germany who held a 2-0 lead.
The England penalty corner routine finally found the mark in the fourth quarter when Grace Balsdon's shot was deflected into the goal by Hannah Martin. This raised the tension on the pitch as England looked to build on the momentum provided by the goal.
Germany's answer however, was two goals in the final quarter. First Hannah Gablac was on hand when a German penalty corner broke down. The initial shot by Leena Micheel was scuffed but the loose ball fell kindly for Gablac, who fired home. The match was put beyond any doubt when Pia Maertens picked up the ball on the edge of the England circle and drove into the danger area before attempting to unleash a shot. The fact she scuffed the top of the ball meant the speed fooled the defence and Maertens had the grace to smile wryly at the outcome.
Player of the Match Sonja Zimmermann (GER) said: 'That was a really good game by us today, we had the right focus and the right mentality. We tried to do what the coach asked us and it worked.'
The results from these two matches mean that Germnay move to fourth in the FIH Pro League, two points behind Argentina, while England are in fifth, eight points behind Germany but having played four fewer matches.
Germany vs England (men) - Sparkassen Park, Mönchengladbach (GER)
England took the lead in the opening minutes of this match when David Condon was on hand to tip the ball past Niklas Garst in the German goal after a super ball into the circle from Will Calnan.
That lead lasted until the 18th minute but a series of penalty corners to Germany asked plenty of questions of the England defence. On the third attempt, Malte Hellwig was on hand to deflect Tom Grambusch's penalty corner strike into the goal past James Mazarelo.
The next 20 minutes of action saw both teams working to take control of the game. The momentum swung as first Germany and then England put together some patient build-up play to try and work a way into the opposing circle.
It was Germany who got the breakthrough when Tom Grambusch made another penalty corner count. His shot squeezed past England captain Tom Sorsby and snuck into the corner of the goal.
England drew back level when Sam Ward was able to steer a penalty corner shot past Jean Danneberg who was now in the German goal. Seconds later Germany answered in emphatic style when Gonzalo Peillat sent a rocket of a shot high into the England goal to give his side a 3-2 lead.
The atmosphere ramped up in the final 18 minutes of the game. Christopher Ruhr was given a 10 minute yellow card and England withdrew their 'keeper to gain a two player advantage on the pitch. Both sides were now bursting with the effort of scoring the all-important next goal. For England, it was the need for an equaliser; for Germany it was to cushion their lead, particularly as they were a player down.
Ruhr returned to the pitch but first Johannes Grosse received a green card and then Michel Struthoff received a yellow, meanng Germany comntinued to player with fewer men on the pitch. Jean Danneberg pulled off a tremendous save from a shot by Ward and then James Albery stepped in to prevent an almost certain goal from Grambusch.
Despite the best endeavours of both teams, there were no more goals but viewers and spectators could be forgiven for feeling breathless at the end of this encounter.
Player of the Match Martin Zwicket of Germany said: 'I am happy because we won that tough game. I don't know why I got the award because it was a team performance. We keep looking forward and we have to improve a lot of things as we have Argentina and Netherlands next.'
The results mean that Germany are now in second place in the FIH Pro League, while England are in seventh place.
The FIH Hockey Pro League action continues on Thursday 14 May at Estadio Betero, Valencia when Soain men and women play host to the Arentina national teams. The women's match takes place at 13:00 (CET), with the men's match beginning at 16:30 (CET).
FIH Hockey Pro League – 5th May 2022
Sparkassen Park, Mönchengladbach (GER)
Result: Women’s Match 27
Germany 4, England 1
Player of the Match: Sonja Zimmermann (GER)
Umpires: Sarah Wilson (SCO), Céline Martin-Schmets (BEL), Martin Madden (SCO)
Result: Men’s Match 35
Germany 3, England 2
Player of the Match: Martin Zwicker (GER)
Umpires: Jakob Mejzlik (CZE), Martin Madden (SCO), Video Umpire Céline Martin-Schmets (BEL)
To see the current women’s FIH Hockey Pro League Standings, please click here.
To see the current men’s FIH Hockey Pro League Standings, please click here.
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