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England - Germany, Two Times On One Day


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England were the better team tonight. Not by a huge stretch, but definately better. But then we didn't take our chances of which we had quite a few whilst Germany took what they were given (two freakish goals, one freakishly good, one freakishly bad!) and defended the 2nd half out. Fair play to them.

If we hadn't missed the two sitters (Dyer and Owen) it'd could've been so different; I don't think Robinson's solely to blame for our defeat though his inability to deal with a cross (albeit one that was badly mis-hit) is worrying. Oh well. Congrats to Germany, thank God it was only a friendly.

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I'm irritated we lost, but not as annoyed as I will be if we do not get the points we need in the qualification games next month.

I think after September the points in England's group should be

Croatia - 9 played 23 points

Russia - 9 played 19 points

England - 9 played 18 points

Israel - 9 played 17 points

I think England will get the 3 points against Israel, but tie Russia.

This group will be decided when Israel comes to Croatia and England goes to Russia. A Croatian win and a result favouring England in the other game would mean that Croatia is qualified with Croatia on 26, England on between 20 and 23, Russia on 18 or 19 and Israel on 17, meaning that if England does screw up the game against Russia or Israel next month, they will face an already qualified Croatia at Wembly, therefore may not field their best team, especially with the win against England already.

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Given that three of Croatia's remaining games are against the three bottom sides in the group, I fully expect them to have qualified by the time they play England at Wembley in November.

I personally believe that the key to the second place will be the two games between England and Russia. I see no reason why England can't go to Moscow in October and win. But, by the same token, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Russia beat England at Wembley in September. In my view, we have to win all our remaining home games and not lose in Moscow. Anything less and we're relying on Russia slipping up in Israel realistically.

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Given that three of Croatia's remaining games are against the three bottom sides in the group, I fully expect them to have qualified by the time they play England at Wembley in November.

I personally believe that the key to the second place will be the two games between England and Russia. I see no reason why England can't go to Moscow in October and win. But, by the same token, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Russia beat England at Wembley in September. In my view, we have to win all our remaining home games and not lose in Moscow. Anything less and we're relying on Russia slipping up in Israel realistically.

I think that England and Russia will probably tie both games, meaning that the games against Israel and Croatia become important.

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I didn't think Israel had that much to offer going forward when we played them in March, so I do regard them as very much the outsiders of the four teams in contention to qualify, especially when you consider they've played a game more. Every game will be vital, but the head to head between England and Russia will, in my mind, be absolutely crucial.

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Back to Field Hockey, its the bronze medal match in the Men's EuroHockey Nations Championship, and its a huge upset! Belgium just beated Germany 4-3, coming from 2 goals down and scoring the final goal whit 4 seconds left in the game!

So the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium are now sure to represent Europe next year in Beijing, while Germany will have to go trough one of the Olympic qualification tournament. Its the first time since 1976 that Belgium will take part of the Olympic Field Hockey tournament. It should make up for 2004, where they missed the Olympics after a penalty defeat to the hands of South Africa.

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Luckily Canada won the Pan-Ams in men's field hockey, becose those three Olympic qualification tournaments should be quite competitive, whit Germany, India, Malaysia, Great Britain, Argentina, Japan and (probably) New Zealand fighting for just three spots in Beijing...

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The Belgian hockey team has beaten world champion Germany with 4/3 in the match for the 3th place and has also qualified for the Olympics. They scored the decisive goal in the last minute of the match. Quite amazing!

Well done, Belgium!! Congratulation. I needed a few days to accept this lost. Why cant we have two good teams like the Dutch or the Australians? The Women are winning the first E-Ch ever and the Men finish outside the medal places ever. It´s weird.

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