England lose 4-1 to Germany in World Cup semi-final
Hockey World Cup Final matches: 13 March Venue: Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Delhi Bronze medal play-off - England v Netherlands: 1000 GMT. Live on BBC red button and online at telegraph.co.uk. Highlights on this website. Final - Germany v Australia: 1230 GMT. Live on BBC red button. Highlights on this website. Both games replayed from 1400-0600 GMT (cable and satellite red button only).
Germany too strong for England in World Cup semi
By Peter Scrivener
Reigning champions Germany ended England's hopes of reaching the World Cup final with a 4-1 victory in their last-four clash in New Delhi.
Richard Smith scored his first goal of the tournament to keep England in touch after Jan-Marco Montag and Oliver Korn had put the Germans 2-0 ahead.
However, Martin Haner converted a slick penalty corner move before half-time to restore Germany's two-goal advantage.
Linus Butt added a fourth from close-range late in the second half.
England will now face the Netherlands in a bronze medal play-off at 1005 GMT on Saturday, after the Dutch lost 2-1 to Australia in the other semi-final.
Mistakes proved costly - England coach
"I'm quite disappointed with the performance," England coach Jason Lee told BBC Sport.
"We were two-nil down through mistakes of our own making within about 10 minutes."
And Germany, who have won the last two World Cups, deserved to reach their third successive final after starting so brightly.
It's all well and good getting to semi-finals but we want to be England the world champions, the Olympic champions
Montag scored the opener with a crisp strike from a regulation short corner routine.
England almost restored parity from the re-start but Barry Middleton's diving effort flashed across goal, while Alistair Brogdon's mazy run past three German defenders and excellent finish was ruled out for obstruction on the keeper.
And England's misery was compounded when Oliver Korn nudged a deflected through ball past keeper James Fair to double the German's lead.
Loughborough's Smith rifled a shot under German keeper Tim Jessulat from England's only penalty corner of the first half to reduce the deficit, while Fair made a tremendous double save from close range to keep his side close.
However, he could do nothing about the third goal, which came from Germany's fourth penalty corner of the half.
A superbly disguised dummy sent the English defence one way and the ball was flicked the other to Haner who calmly picked his spot.
England were full of endeavour after the break but they were unable to penetrate a German side that was happy to play a more containing game and counter attack on the break.
Not even the sin-binning of Jan Philipp Rabente early in the second half helped the England cause as they struggled to create any clear-cut chances.
And the Germans killed off the game in the final 10 minutes with the help of two video referee referrals that went in their favour in quick succession.
The first came when Germany's appeal for a penalty corner was upheld and although they failed to score, another penalty corner was awarded against England for dangerously deflecting the ball into the air.
England appealed that decision, but the video referee upheld the umpire's initial call and Germany took full advantage, with Butt tucking in the rebound after Fair had made another decent save.
"We had some good play for long periods but, because we were pushing forwards, we opened ourselves up. That's why the scoreline got away from us," added Lee.
"We didn't hit the performance we wanted and, when you do that against Germany, you're always going to struggle," added England's James Tindall.
Tindall sets sights on Olympic gold
"If our game had been at its top level today, we could have easily won the game.
"It's all well and good getting to semi-finals but we want to be England the world champions, the Olympic champions."
In the second semi-final, Luke Doerner converted Australia's first penalty corner to open the scoring in the 27th minute and Glenn Turner's goal from open play doubled the lead in the 55th.
The Netherlands finally replied three minutes later with a penalty stroke conversion by Taeke Taekema, but an equaliser remained elusive despite repeated attacks.
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