Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup: A fourth quarter blitzkrieg by Germany demolishes Netherlands
A fourth quarter blitzkrieg helped Germany to overpower its traditional rival Netherlands 4-1 in a pool D match of the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. The win, second for Germans, puts them at the top of the table with maximum six points. Germany has almost made certain of its place in quarter finals.
Three goals in five minutes in the fourth quarter were like a bombshell that demolished Netherlands in a game that was otherwise evenly poised. And the Germans scored in the fourth quarter through all normal means – field, penalty corner and penalty stroke.
It all started in the 52nd minute when Lukas Windfeder scored with a powerful flick giving Germany its second goal of the match from penalty corners. Two minutes later, Marco Miltkav that had a brilliant run to score a superb field goal. Christopher Ruhr capped it with a penalty stroke conversion in the 58th minute.
Florian Fuchs who played a brilliant game as a play maker was adjudged man of the match. It was he who master-minded two of the four goals by his team.
When the two power houses of Europe play each other, the playing surface reverberates with action and thrills. Not only brilliance of attacking hockey keeps the fans absorbed, it is a real treat to watch offence and defence getting blended in exhilarating exhibition of the game.
Netherlands were first to score following a brilliant move down the left flank that saw Valentin Verga guiding the ball home from in front of the German goalkeeper. The goal came in the 13th minute. Germany had to wait till the dying moments of the first half and for its third penalty corner to get the equalizer.
It came of an indirect conversion through Matthias Muller.
Known as super powers of both European and world hockey, Germany and Netherlands have been dominating world hockey scene. Though Netherlands has a slightly better match record, Germany can never be taken lightly. Germany and Netherlands have collectively or individually figured in 10 of the 13 previous World Cup finals. The only exceptions had been 1971, 1975 and 1986.
Man of the match Florian Fuchs (Germany)