England head coach Bobby Crutchley conceded his side had fallen short of their usual standards as they suffered a 2-0 quarter-final loss to Germany at the Champions Trophy in India.
England entered the knockout stages in fine form having topped Pool A, although they were dealt a blow before the game with Chris Griffiths and David Condon missing out due to illness.
And the news did not get much better on the pitch, with London 2012 Olympic champions Germany turning in a hard-working performance to book their semi-final place against Australia.
The first goal came on the stroke of half-time with captain Moritz Fürste sending in a rasping shot from a penalty corner before Christopher Rühr snuffed out any England hopes with a late breakaway.
England did enjoy the lion’s share of possession, with Adam Dixon and Ashley Jackson both creating chances, but they were unable to find a way through the Germany defence.
The result leaves England to face Argentina in the first of the 5th-8th place classification matches on Saturday and Crutchley admitted there could be no excuses for why they had not made the semis.
“We’re very disappointed with the result, I thought we lacked our normal high intensity out there,” he said.
“Maybe playing with two fewer players affected that, however we are not looking to make excuses for the overall outcome.
“We controlled possession for good periods of the game, but came up against a resolute German defence and a team that always threaten on the counter attack.
“We still created corner opportunities and chances, but were unable to convert them into goals.
“We now need to regroup and with a rest day we can recover and recharge our batteries and hopefully be back up to full strength for Saturday’s game against Argentina where we will be looking to reverse the score line from our defeat back in June at the World Cup.
“They are a side who are always strong on the counter attack and they defend with numbers behind the ball.”
© Sportsbeat 2014