Ireland 0, Germany 3
Ireland were unable to summon the victory required to reach the knockout stages of the Hockey World Cup and must now regroup for the classification matches.
Ireland required a three-goal victory to be guaranteed a place in the knockout phase while anything other than a win would send them into the ninth to 16th place play-offs. And while they put in a performance full of endeavour and fight, Germany’s accuracy yielded goals from Nike Lorenz in the first half and a close-range killer from Charlotte Stapenhorst. Sonja Zimmerman completed the win from a 57th minute penalty stroke.
“The scoreline doesn’t really tell the tale of the game,” said captain Katie Mullan post-match. “We really threw everything at Germany but we needed to be a little bit more clinical and take our chances and that’s across the full attacking line.
“We showed a lot of character over the last 24 hours [since the defeat to Chile]. We turned it around and we showed a lot more hockey that we like to play. In tournament hockey you have to execute those pressure moments and we know that from 2018 and today we didn’t do that as we needed.”
In a lively start, Mullan’s running caused Germany discomfort and a lovely slip pass through from Deirdre Duke gave her a shooting chance. She cracked goalwards but Nathalie Kubalski calmly batted it away.
Germany, meanwhile, were working the ball through Nike Lorenz who pulled the strings for Elisa Grave to fire a dangerous shot which Ayeisha McFerran blocked.
Lorenz again was the creator for Charlotte Stapenhorst’s chance, McFerran again getting a crucial pad on it. The world No 4 side took the lead in the 23rd minute from a clever switch to the left where Lorenz was on hand to flick across goal and find the net.
Ireland stepped up quickly, Katie McKee and Michelle Carey both firing efforts on goal before the main break and they carried the momentum into the second half, winning their first penalty corner after the resumption.
Mullan’s through pass was inches from getting the perfect connection from Naomi Carroll but they were rocked once more in the 35th minute.
Kira Horn’s run put Ireland on the back foot and while Sarah McAuley got a vital intervention, Stapenhorst pounced to sweep into the net.
Needing a huge comeback, they continued to make inroads with Mullan’s pass just evading a final touch from Naomi Carroll. And Sean Dancer threw caution to the wind swapping out goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran for an extra outfielder.
It led to Zara Malseed drawing the best save of the day from Kubalski, diving full length to repel the shot on the turn.
Ireland bravely kept out two penalty corners but with no recognised goalkeeper Germany did get eventually get another goal when Zimmerman netted a penalty stroke after Sarah McAuley blocked a shot on the empty goal with her body.
Ireland – A McFerran, R Upton, L Tice, E Curran, H McLoughlin, M Carey, C Perdue, S Hawkshaw, K Mullan, N Carroll, D Duke. Subs: S McAuley, Z Malseed, S Torrans, C Beggs, K McKee, C Hamill, L Murphy.
Germany –N Kubalski, K Horn, A Wortmann, N Lorenz, A Schröder, L Michell, C Stapenhorst, S Zimmermann, C Pieper, V Huse, H Granitzki. Subs: S Oruz, E Gräve, P Heinz, P Maertens, L Weidemann, B Wenzel, J Sonntag.