Narrow defeat for GB’s Women in Tokyo 2020 opener

Great Britain’s women, featuring Scotland’s Sarah Robertson, suffered a narrow defeat in an entertaining opening game at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Mark Hager’s team peppered the German goal throughout the game but came up against an inspired goalkeeper in Julia Sonntag, who made several important saves.

The reigning Olympic champions started as they left off five years ago with Shona McCallin having the game’s first shot after just 19 seconds, before two Giselle Ansley corners and their follow up efforts were blocked by the German defence.

Sonntag was on hand to stop Ellie Rayer’s close range effort in the 11th minute before Jones opened the scoring two minutes later, finding herself perfectly positioned to nudge the ball into the goal after another corner was deflected.

Germany put together a dangerous counter attack early in the second quarter but Leah Wilkinson read the final pass expertly to turn the ball away from danger before shortly after at the other end, Sonntag was called into action to pad away Izzy Petter’s deflection.

Maddie Hinch was then forced into a smart save in the 22nd minute but she couldn’t keep out Huse’s penalty stroke shortly after as the German player sent her the wrong way.

There was nothing Hinch could do to stop Germany’s second goal either as Stapenhorst found the target from close range after another stunning counter. Moments after Sonntag saved from Hannah Martin, Pia Maertens raced up the right-hand side of the pitch before crossing for the forward to tap home.

Both teams had one more chance apiece in the third quarter, Hinch reacting smartly to her right to stop the German effort before Ansley’s flick – which looked destined for the top corner – was brilliantly blocked on the line.

Three more corners in quick succession early in the final quarter couldn’t breach the German defence either, with the first two striking feet before Ansley’s flick was saved by Sonntag.

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