Germany opened their bid for a first European men’s title in eight years with an 8-1 win over Wales, which included a sublime solo goal from Christopher Rühr.
The Rot-Weiss Köln forward found himself alone with turnover ball on the half-way line and dashed up field in plenty of space before a bullet forehand left the Welsh all at sea.
Ruhr’s goal came two minutes from time with the Germans 6-1 up, while there was still time for two more goals – including Constantin Staib doubling up and the final polish from the outstanding Timm Herzbruch – as Kais al Saadi’s side warmed up for their clash against hosts Holland on Sunday in fine style.
“We really enjoyed playing in front of spectators after the difficult year 2020 – and that at such an important tournament,” Florian Fuchs said afterwards. “We performed very well as a team today. Nobody stood out, but the team tore it.
“That’s our strength right now with the Honamas. But we haven’t won anything with a win. It has to go on like this.”
Wales’ solo strike was scored via a penalty corner and the dangerous stick work of Gareth Furlong.
The Welsh will now meet France in their second Pool game on Saturday.
The French also found out that as hard as they played, it was the end product which counted as Holland ran out 3-0 winners through Jip Janssen, Thierry Brinkman and Jeroen Hertzberger.