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Page last updated at 12:11 GMT, Thursday, 11 March 2010

As it happened - England v Germany


Watch the game on the red button (satellite/cable viewers only) or via the Daily Telegraph website. Video highlights available on BBC Sport website later.
To get involved, text us on 81111 (UK) using HOCKEY as your first word or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). (Not all contributions can be used)

1411: "Roll on 2012" seems to be the message from many of you via text and Twitter. As we've been discussing, the group of players representing England today is more than likely the British Olympic squad for 2012 (with one or two additions), so make sure you keep track of them over the next two years. As far as the women's team goes, they host the Champions Trophy in Nottingham this July. Maybe see you there - that's it from me, thanks for all your input today.

1408: And if you are keen to relive England's last 70 minutes in full (you never know), there will be a repeat of the full broadcast on the red button from 1910 GMT on Thursday (i.e. today).

1406: For your viewing pleasure, today's other semi-final between Australia and the Netherlands, which begins at 1505 GMT, is available on the red button (satellite/cable only). As is England's bronze medal play-off against whichever of those two is the defeated party, on Saturday, while the final will also have red button coverage.

1401 Eng 1-4 Ger (70:00): Full time

The game dwindles into a nothing final few minutes, because the result is as certain as you can get - although James Fair does make one, final save. England go out of the World Cup at the semi-final stage, while Germany - the reigning world and Olympic champions - move on to play either Australia or the Netherlands in Saturday's final.

Saity in Kingston texts: "Unfortunately England don't have enough really top-class players to fill when we lose a couple prior to the start of the tournament. The additional loss of Richard Mantell at the back and missing the pace of Matt Daly has been really noticeable. That said, we have come a long way in the last four years. Roll on 2012."

1355 Eng 1-4 Ger (64:30): A little over five minutes remaining. If you're English, now may be the moment to abandon hope as a desperate bundle in front of the German net ends with nothing for England to show for it.

David texts: "Is there a third/fourth playoff for us to get excited about? Any medal would be a fantastic achievement for the boys. Grew up playing hockey with Richard Smith so big smile on my face regardless of the result."

There is indeed a bronze medal play-off, at 1005 GMT on Saturday. (The final is at 1235 on the same day.)

1350 Eng 1-4 Ger (60:00): Linus Butt scores

England survive a penalty corner following a video referral, but the official awards another penalty corner immediately thereafter, to a torrent of abuse from England keeper James Fair. "Do you want to refer it?" asks a Paxman-esque umpire. Yes, yes we do, they eventually decide. But there is "no evidence to change the decision" according to the video judge, and the referral is lost. So it's another German penalty corner, blocked expertly by Fair, but the rebound is bundled over the goalkeeper into the net. A mess.

1348 Eng 1-3 Ger (60:00): England survive a penalty corner following a video referral, but the official awards another penalty corner immediately thereafter, to a torrent of abuse from England keeper James Fair. "Do you want to refer it?" asks a Paxman-esque umpire. Yes, yes we do, they eventually decide.

Ken in Leighton Buzzard texts: "If ever we needed a Sherwani-to-Batchelor it is now. Sean Kerly will remember it well."

1345 Eng 1-3 Ger (59:00): Just over 10 minutes left. In the post-match interviews, I bet you any money somebody English says reaching the last four is still an achievement. (Which, of course, it is...)

1343 Eng 1-3 Ger (56:30): England come very close to conceding a fourth as one of those German breakaways nearly ends in disaster. Richard Smith gets an initial interception in, before the shot screams just wide of James Fair's left post.

1340 Eng 1-3 Ger (53:30): Excellent play by James Tindall, holding up the ball in an attacking position, but the support doesn't come and his eventual shot is fierce, but far too high.

Rajiv Desai tweets: "England look the better side. Germany trying to absorb pressure - been clinical with their chances though."

Blog comment from Roberto: "There could be a great future for hockey as we see the structure of rugby union creaking under its professional burdens, and its TV entertainment value plummeting in comparison because of its tactical attrition."

1336 Eng 1-3 Ger (50:00): England are committing plenty of players forward - as they have to do, now - but it's leaving them open to the occasional German break. All these surges forward aren't resulting in clear scoring opportunities... yet.

1332 Eng 1-3 Ger (46:00): Big chance for England as the ball screams across the face of Tim Jessulat's goal, Jan Philipp Rabente having just been sin-binned for Germany to give the English a temporary advantage. But still no breakthrough.

1330 Eng 1-3 Ger (43:30): It's all very promising until England start to venture forward from midfield. Dan Fox, on as a rolling sub, and skipper Barry Middleton nearly made some progress down the right but a lack of communication saw them give up possession. The game's gone a bit flat.

Steven in Crawley texts: "Let's hope we can use this for 2012 and make 2012 the Golden Year of Hockey. I'm excited already!"

1325 Eng 1-3 Ger (40:00): To my eye it looks like England are trying some slightly more patient build-up play this time around. Plenty of possession hockey early in this half. Yet to convert that into a proper chance, though.

1323 Eng 1-3 Ger (37:00): England have come out looking pretty lively in the opening exchanges of this half.

1321 Eng 1-3 Ger (35:00): Second half under way

Chris in Glasgow texts: "England losing in the 1986 World Cup final was a springboard for GB Olympic gold - could this be a good omen for London 2012?"

Always look on the bright side, etc...

Whos_The_Daddy68 on 606: "I'm no hockey expert, but half time couldn't come quick enough. England need to regroup."

bliwilliams tweets: "What is the average age of both teams? How many players from both sides will be around for the 2012 Olympics?"

Funnily enough, performance director David Faulkner (another veteran of the World Cup semis in 1986 and the Seoul Olympic win in 1988) answered both those questions in my blog as follows: "The oldest player in the German team here is, I think, 26. Their average age is 22." I'm not sure about England but it's definitely higher than that. Faulkner said the England team you're watching today is essentially the GB team for 2012. "It'll be very difficult for anyone else to break into it."

1312 Eng 1-3 Ger (35:00): Half time

So much for thoughts of a spirited comeback. Martin Haner's excellently worked goal has given Germany a comfortable half-time cushion. Since Richard Mantell's injury earlier in the tournament England haven't looked as solid in defence, and head coach Jason Lee may need to come up with a different plan for the second half. "They've made a few too many errors in midfield, but let's not panic," says Sean Kerly. "They've got to go back to the game plan, keep the ball high, force Germany down one side and pin the ball in. But what they mustn't do is compromise at the back."

1310 Eng 1-3 Ger (34:00): Germany are threatening to go further ahead and there doesn't seem a lot of hope of England getting another goal back before the break.

1307 Eng 1-3 Ger (31:00): Martin Haner scores

Another German penalty corner. England converted their only penalty corner of the game so far - and in some style - but this is the Germans' fourth, and it is executed immaculately. The dummy sends the entire English team the wrong way and Haner has all the time he needs to score.

1304 Eng 1-2 Ger (28:30): If England were to win this tie, it would be the stuff of legend as comebacks go - overhauling Germany to reach a World Cup final. Australia would be the likely opponents in that final, although the Netherlands may have something to say about me writing them off like that.

Becky in Horsham texts: "Come on boys. I was trained by Steve Batchelor, one of the medallists from 1988 - he even brought his medal in one day."

And as Becky texts, the Germans send another short corner inches wide, looking for the deflection. The balance of possession and play is fairly even with eight or so minutes left in the first half.

1259 Eng 1-2 Ger (22:00): Majestic from James Fair in the English net. He blocks the first shot, then somehow claws his way back to his feet and gets a glove on the rebound from close range. Fair has just kept his team in the World Cup.

s_boardman tweets: "How does Germany's record in the group stages compare to England's?"

Germany were undefeated in their group, winning three and drawing two. England won four but lost the other game, a fairly dismal 2-0 defeat by Spain in their last match. Germany have scored more, and conceded fewer, than England.

1253 Eng 1-2 Ger (17:30): Richard Smith scores

Loughborough 22-year-old Smith rifles home straight between Tim Jessulat's legs from the corner, for his first goal of the tournament. The comeback is on, as a colleague has just pronounced...

1250 Eng 0-2 Ger (15:15): England's Adam Dixon gets clattered by Germany's Martin Haner, but is denied a penalty corner by the officials. Haner limps off for treatment on his knee as a result. England are pressing but need at least one goal back before the break.

JP in St Albans texts: "If the boys get to final there will be one hell of a party here on Saturday. Our first team were promoted into the national league last week."

I would say one half of that party is very much in the balance, at best.

1246 Eng 0-2 Ger (11:00): Oliver Korn scores

A deflection is allowed to run straight past several England defenders and Korn nudges it into the net. Far too easy a goal to concede and England are in real trouble very early on.

1245 Eng 0-1 Ger (09:30): A sublime goal by England's Alistair Brogdon is ruled out for obstruction on the goalkeeper. He rounded at least three German defenders and lifted it into the net, but Germany's Tim Jessulat had an English player in his face as the ball went past him.

1241 Eng 0-1 Ger (05:30): Jan-Marco Montag scores

How long, then, will English optimism last? Less than six minutes into the game and, from the short corner, Montag fires home. England almost get themselves right back into it from the restart, but it's already an uphill struggle.

1239 Eng 0-0 Ger (04:00): As the said Sean Kerly was telling me earlier, you only get one shot at a semi-final... possibly in your lifetime, as an England player. So it's a quiet start. German short corner now though.

1235 Eng 0-0 Ger (00:00): Here we go then. Thirty-five minutes each way, in case you needed telling.

Andy in Tooting texts: "It is in no way a coincidence that I've decided to take my lunch hour now. Come on England!"

1233: England legend Sean Kerly's tactical preview

"England's strategy will be to attack and press the Germans. Whichever side the Germans go, the English approach will be to hassle them, try to win the ball in midfield and then push forward, rather than necessarily passing it around a lot. That's where rolling subs will come into play, players will come on with a job to do for the next 10 or 15 minutes.

"The Germans will try to rotate where their players are playing, to throw the English off. So one man may come forward and, if nobody English goes with him, he'll get the ball. If someone does go with him then that draws an English player away and creates a gap elsewhere, which another German player will fill."

1231: The players are making their way out and our red button broadcast is now live.

Blog comment from Chris: "Is there a desire amongst British people to play hockey? I agree with the campaign to raise awareness of hockey before 2012 but, in the grand scheme of 2012, how important is hockey considered?"

"Anxious Kate" texts: "I'm so nervous but if the boys play as well as they have done, they can do it. Think work has gone out the window for a couple of hours!"

1225: The game starts in around 10 minutes' time - Sean Kerly, by the way, is one half of our red button commentary team alongside Matt Chilton. In the meantime, have a read of my blog about England's World Cup progress, and the broader future of hockey in Britain. I'd appreciate your views, either as comments on the blog or by text/tweet. Allow yourself to dream for a moment: what would a World Cup trophy, for the first time ever, mean for hockey in the UK?

1221: In a second I'll bring you the tactical side of things from Sean Kerly, legend of English and British hockey, who was part of the team who won Olympic gold in 1988. But then I'm pretty sure you knew that. What you may not know is you can watch this game on the red button (cable/satellite viewers only) or at Whether you've got the video in front of you or not, have your say on events by texting 81111 (from the UK) or +44 7786200666 (from elsewhere). Alternatively, send me a tweet - I'm @bbcsport_ollie.

1218: Team news

Both teams have their injury troubles. England have lost brothers Simon and Richard Mantell during the course of the tournament, the latter a particularly tough blow given his penalty corner specialism. Watch out for England's top scorer, Ashley Jackson, in his place. Germany are missing Christopher Zeller, himself a dab hand at penalty corners, but have done without him for the whole tournament since he stayed at home to work on his law degree. England seem to be missing Richard Mantell more than the Germans miss Zeller. German goalkeeper Max Weinhold was due to undergo a late fitness test having missed his side's last two games. More as I get it.

1215: England face Germany who, on paper and judging by their trophy cabinet, are the favourites. While England have not made the last four of the World Cup in 24 years, the Germans haven't missed the semi-finals since 1971. They have won the last two World Cups, in 2002 and 2006, and are the reigning Olympic champions. But England beat them on the way to winning the EuroHockey Nations last year.

1211: Hello, everybody. England's men have reached the semi-finals of the Hockey World Cup. The last time that happened, the World Wide Web meant nothing to anybody. Computers were the size of apartment blocks. Welcome to 1986, where waiting for Ceefax to refresh was a national sport. The next two hours of live text commentary, by contrast, are allabout 2010.

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see also
England beaten in World Cup semi
11 Mar 10 |  Hockey
Mackay eyes England World Cup win
10 Mar 10 |  Hockey
England beat India to reach semis
06 Mar 10 |  Hockey
Mantell injury spoils England win
04 Mar 10 |  Hockey
Hockey's new golden age?
04 Sep 09 |  Hockey

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