Susie Gilbert believes playing with no fear was the main factor behind England women claiming their first win at this year’s Hockey World Cup in the Hague with a 3-1 defeat of Germany.
Despite being ranked third in the world going into the tournament, Gilbert and her team have found the going tough in the Netherlands, losing their first four matches to leave them out of the running for the semi-finals.
But there was finally something to cheer on Tuesday afternoon at the Kyocera Stadium as second-half goals from Hannah MacLeod, Gilbert and Susannah Townsend set them on the way to victory.
After an even first half, Macleod broke the deadlock for England on 44 minutes when she kept her composure to slot home smartly on the turn.
And they did not have to wait long before doubling their lead, with Gilbert’s cross finding it’s way past the German defence into the back of the goal.
With confidence visibly soaring, England pushed forward and got their third on 55 minutes when Townsend robbed the German defence of the ball on the top of the circle before making no mistake with her finish.
And while Germany pulled a goal back just a minute later when Hannah Kruger fired in a penalty corner, England held firm for a welcome win ahead of Thursday’s classification match against Belgium.
“It was the win we have been looking for all tournament, we have obviously been bitterly disappointed throughout the last ten days but it was extremely nice to get that win finally,” said Gilbert.
“We just took it to them and had completely no fear going forward. I think it showed we can create opportunities and score goals.
“It’s something that just hasn’t happened the last ten days but it was really nice to get that win.
“We just have to focus on the task in hand, recover well and then really take it to Belgium, play with no fear like we did going forward and defend diligently like we did so well today.”
© Sportsbeat 2014