Germany await in game three for Green Army in Tokyo

** Ireland v Germany will be broadcast live on RTE2 from 4.15am on Wednesday, July 28 – note this will be geo-blocked in Northern Ireland
** For viewers in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, Discovery+ will broadcast every game from the Olympics live here:

Women’s Olympic Games
Pool A: Ireland v Germany, 4.15am (Irish time)

Game three in Tokyo and the Green Army can take a big step forward to a potential top four place in their pool if they can get something from their date with world number three side Germany at the Oi Stadium.

For Ireland, they will be looking to bounce back after their 4-0 defeat to the Netherlands after a strong defensive effort – typified by Ayeisha McFerran between the posts – meant the tie was in the mix until the closing quarter.

It leaves Sean Dancer’s side on three points, currently fourth in the group, with Germany and the Dutch on six and GB on three after two rounds. India and South Africa are yet to register points and they face GB and Netherlands next, respectively.

The Germans come into the tie with two wins from two under their belt, seeing off Great Britain 2-1 and then getting the better of India 2-0.

Both times, they had to dig in deep with GB running up 11 penalty corners in their contest while the brilliance of goalkeeper Julia Sonntag denied India from the penalty spot with the game evenly at 1-0.

For Ireland, they will be looking to recreate some of their recent record against Die Danas, drawing 1-1 at the 2019 Euros in Antwerp and winning fixtures in both 2017 and 2018.

More recently, though, Xavier Reckinger’s team have the edge with Germany winning 4-1 and 4-0 in fixtures in early 2020 in Stellenbosch.

In terms of line-up, they feature only one change from European Championship squad with sub goalkeeper Nathalie Kubalski moving to travelling reserve spot and outfielder Pauline Heinz comes into the squad of 18.

There is plenty of experience with six players from the 2016 Olympic bronze medal winning side – captain Nike Lorenz, Anne Schröder, Charlotte Stapenhorst, Lisa Altenburg, Franzisca Hauke and Cecile Pieper back once again.

The big surprise on the selection front was the omission of 2016 captain Janne Muller-Wieland. A veteran of 315 caps, she ended up living in England during lockdown with her partner and unable to travel back as often as coach Xavier Reckinger would have liked for training/camps.

The sides know each other well; Katie Mullan played with Kira Horn, Hanna Granitzki, Altenburg, Schröder and Viki Huse at Club an der Alster while Deirdre Duke lined out with Selin Oruz at Dusseldorf.

Ireland v Germany – head to head

Overall – 29 meetings

Ireland: 4 wins, 3 draws, 22 losses; goals for 27, goals against 73

Most recent meeting: January 2020: Ireland 1 (Ellen Curran) Germany 4 (Nike Lorenz, Lena Micheel, Anna Schröder, Kira Horan)

Last Irish win: June 2018 – 2-1 in Dusseldorf (Anna O’Flanagan and Ali Meeke goals); five meetings since.

Germany Olympic record: Gold in 2004, silver in 1992 and 1984 (as West Germany), bronze in 2016. Qualified via Olympic qualifiers with 9-0 aggregate win over Italy (2-0 and 7-0)

Germany current world ranking: 3rd, 2021 EuroHockey Championships runners-up, 2016 Olympic bronze medalists