London 2012: Bizarre Germany goal upsets British team

By Ollie WilliamsBBC Sport at the London Olympic Park

A bizarre Germany goal at the Olympic hockey test event left hosts Great Britain confused and upset.

The Germans went ahead moments into the second half, waltzing down the pitch to score while many of the GB team were still returning to the field of play.

"I came out of the tunnel and the game had started. I have no idea what happened," said GB's Ashley Jackson.

The game, GB's first match in the 2012 Olympic arena, had been goalless until then, but Germany went on to win 3-1.

After an evenly matched first half, the German team were the first to appear after the break inside the London 2012 Olympic Park, which is hosting its first hockey tournament.

A countdown clock on the scoreboard reached zero, at which point the umpires resumed play, even though a number of British players were still returning to the pitch.

Florian Fuchs duly deflected the ball into the net to open the scoring for Germany, and his side went on to carve out a three-goal lead before Jackson's late consolation.

"I think we had six or seven on the pitch and the umpires were told to start. It doesn't look great on anyone's part really," Jackson told BBC Sport.

"It's tough. You're looking for a strong start to the second half and to go a goal down so early, for whatever reason, is a big blow."

Germany coach Markus Weise said: "To me it sounds like a typical hockey thing. I can't imagine other sports starting [like that].

"It's a very strange rule, probably provided by TV, that a game starts when the countdown is at zero. I don't want to be in a position without 11 players on the pitch and a game starting. It's a bit strange."

Weise's British counterpart, Jason Lee, played down the incident as a "small thing" but found it hard to believe.

"It wasn't like we were four or five minutes late, we were 10 or 15 seconds late," Lee told BBC Sport. "But in hockey the ball goes so fast that you can't really get into position at that point.

"The changing rooms are a little bit further than what we'd expect," he added.

The same situation had occurred in the day's other men's fixture, between Australia and India.

In that game, the umpires whistled for play to resume but Australia, whose team were still making their way back to the pitch, held on to the ball until they had all 11 players available.

"The Australians waited for the rest of their players to turn up. The Germans weren't so charitable," said Lee.

GB player Richard Alexander expressed the hope that his side would not suffer a similar fate at the Olympic Games in three months' time.

"We only had three or four players on the pitch and it makes it pretty hard to defend with that," said Alexander.

"Hopefully that kind of thing won't happen again."

Britain's men are next in action on Thursday, when they face India at 1830 BST. All games are live on the BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website.