London: Defending champions Germany surged into the final of the men`s hockey competition at the London Olympics with a rousing 4-2 victory over 2004 champions Australia here today.
Germany rallied twice from the arrears to knock out the reigning World champions Australia, in a replay of the 2010 World Cup final, only this time the result favouring the resolute Germans, who matched Australia for pace and capitalised on their openings.
These two countries have contested the last three World Cup finals with Germany wining twice in 2002 and 2006, while Australia clinching the title at New Delhi in 2010. But with this victory, Germany finally avenged their loss.
Australia opened the account through Kieran Govers, who slammed in a rebound from the goalkeeper after Glenn Turner`s initial crack at the goal was blcoked by custodian Max Weinhold in the 22nd minute.
Germany equalised four minutes later on a penalty corner conversion by Moritz Fuerste, who sounded the boards with a low shot to the goalkeeper`s right.
Australia went into a 2-1 lead, seven minutes into the second half, when Glenn Turner picked up the ball from the goalkeeper`s feet to scoop into the goal after two earlier shots had been blocked by the custodian.
Germany then came back with a three-goal spree that left Australia stunned.
Matthias Witthaus picked up a long diagonal ball from the right on top of the circle and scored with a firm push into the boards for Germany to draw level in the 54th minute.
Five minutes later, Timo Wess put the title holders in the lead with a frirm penalty corner shot after the ball was squared to him.
Wess was the architect of Germany`s fourth goal just seven minutes from the hooter when he sent a defence-splitting cross from left into the circle and Florin Fuchs put the match beyond Australia`s reach with his lunging shot that sounded the board as Germany advanced to the title contest