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