England's men missed out on a semi-final place at the EuroHockey Nations Championship in Manchester after losing 3-0 to Germany.
It means Britain's Olympic hopes are on hold with only the top three teams securing places for Beijing.
Two first-half goals from Matthias Witthaus and a penalty corner from Niklas Meinert clinched the win.
England will have a further chance at Olympic qualification in early 2008 in New Zealand, Chile or Japan.
Coach Jason Lee must now lift his players to face Ireland on Friday in the first of two games to decide placings from fifth to eighth.
"We penetrated the German circle many times but they took their chances better," he said. "We should have been more aggressive. The team feel flat right now but we will have to pick ourselves up for the Ireland match."