Germany end Australia's Champions Trophy reign
Olympic gold medallists Germany quashed Australia`s bid to win a sixth successive Champions Trophy field hockey title, ousting the side 3-2 in the semi-final on Saturday.
Bhubaneswar: Olympic gold medallists Germany quashed Australia`s bid to win a sixth successive Champions Trophy field hockey title, ousting the side 3-2 in the semi-final on Saturday.
The Germans, playing with seven junior World Cup winners of 2013, stunned the Kookaburras with two goals by the ninth minute through Timur Oruz and Mats Grambusch.
They went up 3-0 immediately after half-time when Florian Fuchs took advantage of a goalmouth scramble and scooped the ball past Australian goalkeeper Andrew Charter.
Australia hit back in the 34th minute as Chris Ciriello banged in a penalty corner to net his fourth goal in the tournament. Nicholas Budgeon narrowed the margin further in the 42nd by scoring off a penalty corner rebound.
Australia, who lost to Germany 4-2 the last time they met in the semi-finals of the 2012 London Olympics, failed to equalise despite benching the goalkeeper to accommodate an extra striker.
Germany will meet the winner of Saturday night`s second semi-final between India and Pakistan in the title clash on Sunday.
It will be Germany`s first Champions Trophy final since 2009 when they were beaten by hosts Australia 5-3 in Melbourne.
German coach Markus Weise said he was happy -- and also relieved -- that his young side had reached the final after a poor sixth-place finish at the World Cup in June.
"It is a very good thing to happen to the boys, they have proved themselves against the best," Weise said.
"We were lucky to be 3-0 ahead because the second-half belonged entirely to Australia. I am glad the boys fought it out till the end."
Weise, asked whether he wanted to face India or Pakistan in the final, said he would prefer that his team takes on the hosts.
"At home we play in a silent stadium with not more than 500 people watching," he said. "But here we have 7,000 screaming fans making a lot of noise. It will be a good experience for the boys."