England women's hockey head coach Jason Lee blamed a series of missed opportunities as his side slipped to a 4-2 defeat to Australia in their Four Nations Cup opener in Bremen.
Despite taking the lead through Lily Owsley, England were undone by three goals in 23 second half minutes, an Anna Flanagan penalty corner double and a strike from Georgie Parker.
Alex Danson reduced arrears but a late goal from Jodie Kenny secured a confident win for Hockeyroos.
“It was a hard fought game and I thought we played some really good hockey across the first 35 minutes," said Lee, who has rested one of his key players, Kate Richardson-Walsh, for the World Cup warm-up event after she picked up an ankle injury last week.
"The girls played to the tactics very well and did exactly what was expected of them. We took a well deserved lead into the break and certainly had opportunities to extend it in the run up to half-time, but unfortunately we were unable convert.
“I thought we maintained most of our good play across the second-half, but Australia upped their game and were able to take advantage of their strengths in one or two areas of the pitch, especially with Flanagan on penalty corners.”
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