Germany to play Australia in Champions final
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Last Updated: Saturday, December 05, 2009, 14:55
Melbourne: Germany lost their final group match but still reached tomorrow's final of the men's field hockey Champions Trophy against defending champions Australia here today.

The Netherlands, needing to beat the Olympic and world champions by four goals to reach the gold medal match, could only muster a 4-3 win, which allowed the Germans to take their place in the final.

Nine-time winners Australia will be playing in their 20th Champions Trophy final, while Germany will be bidding for their seventh title. West Germany also won the title three times.

Australia are the defending champions, having beaten Spain 4-1 in last year's final in Rotterdam, while Germany last won the Champions Trophy in 2007, downing Australia 1-0.

Australia crushed Spain 10-3 to reach their third consecutive Trophy final and created a new tournament record for most goals in a match, eclipsing their 7-5 win over the Netherlands in 1981.

Australia had only won one of their previous seven encounters against Spain in all major competitions, but they went on a goal spree before the home fans in their last group match on Saturday.

Spain held Australia to 2-2 at halftime but the floodgates opened spectacularly as Australia lashed home seven unanswered goals in the final 19 minutes.

Luke Doerner converted a penalty corner, Glenn Turner and Fergus Kavanagh put in two field goals each, and captain Jamie Dwyer and Eddie Ockenden contributed a field goal each against the hapless Spaniards.

The Dutch began their goal chase by scoring first through a penalty stroke by Taeke Taekema.

But the Germans hit back through Matthias Witthaus and Florian Fuchs before Rob Reckers equalised near halftime.

Teun de Nooijer and Reckers gave the Dutch faint hope of an unlikely outcome with goals to lead 4-2 before Fuchs scored his second goal of the match.

The Netherlands will now play for the bronze medal against South Korea tomorrow, while England will battle Spain to avoid last place in the tournament.

Dutch coach Michel van den Heuvel admitted the task of beating Germany by four goals was a bridge too far.

"Our aim to get a four-goal margin in this match was too difficult for us today," van den Heuvel said.

"I was happy with the way we played and that we showed a lot of energy and speed on the court today."

Earlier, England defeated South Korea 4-2 to thwart South Korea's finals hopes.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, December 05, 2009, 14:55

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