Olympic champions England's ambitions to lift the World League trophy at its final tournament took an early dent in Auckland today.

They went down 2-0 to a committed Germany, both goals coming in the final nine minutes, and both from penalty corners.

''England are a strong side and it's not easy to score goals against them," German captain and defensive rock Janne Muller-Wieland said.

''We had to be patient and luckily we were."

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World No 3 Argentina easily beat ninth-ranked China in the second pool B game 3-0 on the back of an overwhelming statistical advantage.

But in the England-Germany game there wasn't much in the stats, although one key number had the Germans with eight penalty corner chances to England's three, and that proved a decisive factor.

Possession in the opposition half was split 50-50 and there was nothing between the two circle penetration numbers.

However the Olympic bronze medallists in Rio last year prospered through fine penalty corner strikes by Charlotte Stapenhorst and Nike Lorenz.

''It was a tough old game but credit the Germans. Their two goals were very well executed," England captain Alex Danson said.

Argentina, who won the 2015 edition of the World League final, were far too good for China.

ROTORUA DAILY POST | Sport
18 Nov, 2017 10:00am
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Noel Barrionuevo, Martina Cavallero and Maria Granatto got the goals in a game in which Argentina racked up 19 shots on goal while conceding none, and allowed China only one entry into their defensive circle.

Those early results on day two of the tournament leave Argentina and Germany on three points, with England and the Chinese on 0.

Hosts New Zealand play South Korea, and the world No 1 Netherlands face the United States in the two games from pool A later tonight.

The World League is being replaced in 2019 by the Pro League, featuring the top nine men's and women's countries in a six-month-long competition around the globe.