HOCKEY: Valiant Ireland taste defeat to Germany but qualification hopes still remain


THE Ireland hockey team lost out to Germany in their third game of the Olympic campaign on a scoreline of 4-2.

Sean Dancer’s side produced a big second-half comeback but it wasn’t enough against one of the tournament favourites.

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With games left against India and Great Britain, there’s crucially still a chance to advance to the next stage.

Lisa Altenburg and Cecile Pieper had put the Germany team 2-0 up by half-time before Ireland’s Anna O’Flanagan got a yellow and 10 minutes in the bin.

Subsequently, Altenburg made it 3-0 from the spot to have the Irish fearing a bad result.

28 July 2021; Pia Maertens, 21, of Germany scores her side’s fourth goal during the women’s pool A group stage match between Germany and Ireland at the Oi Hockey Stadium during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

The comeback from the Ireland team will be remembered long in the memory of the Germans after a tough battle.

Strikes from Lena Tice and Hannah McLoughlin brought Ireland back into contention before Francisca Hauke settled the tie in Germany’s favour.

“Games against Germany are always quite physical and they’re quite fun too, so I think we enjoyed that game,” Chloe Watkins reflected.

“I think 4-2 is probably not really a fair reflection, we probably deserved a point if I’m honest. One or two things didn’t go our way but I think we played really well, we came up to it, they’re world number 3 and I think it was a really good battle, we matched them in a lot of areas.

“We could have rolled over in the fourth quarter and let them come in but we didn’t. We fought hard and we knew goal difference is really important. They were really good goals, really well worked and it just showed our fighting spirit to give us confidence going into the next game.”

Despite a 4-2 loss, Ireland hockey coach Sean Dancer felt the way his side battled back against Germany was more important than the result of their Pool A group clash at #tokyo2020 #RTESport #olympics @IreWomenHockey

Pool A

Hope of a quarter final spot remains for Ireland.

They currently occupy fourth place, raising the stakes for the games against India and Great Britain.

July 30: Ireland v India, 3.45am

July 31: Ireland v Great Britain, 12.45pm

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