Bhubaneswar: Germany entered the semifinals of the Men’s Hockey World League Finals (HWLF) scraping past the Netherlands via the tie-breaker at the Kalinga Stadium here, Thursday.
The match ended 3-3 in regulation time. In the ensuing tie-breaker, Germany scored four times while the Oranjes could hit the target thrice only and bowed out of medal contention.
Julius Meyer (12th), Florian Fuchs (34th), Constantin Staib (41st) scored for Germany, while Micro Pruijser (21st, 59th), and Bjorn Kellerman (27th) struck for the Netherlands in regulation period. In the shootout, Mats Grambusch, Marco Miltkau, Dieter Linkkogel and Christopher Ruhr scored for Germany while Walter Tobias, Seve van Ass and Bjorn Kellerman were successful for the Dutch.
It was an exciting affair with fortunes swinging like a pendulum. The Germans looked dominating at the start, but each time they threatened the opposition, the Dutch came back strongly to thwart them.
Germany earned two penalty corners in the opening 10 minutes, but failed to convert. However, in the 12th minute Julius Meyer played a lovely one-two with Ruhr to prise the Dutch defence. Meyer then scored with a simple tap in.
However, the Oranjes were not to be denied for long. Pruijser lying close to the goalline was quick to take advantage of a free ball which had deflected off a German defender to restore parity. Kellerman then scored the best goal of the game to put the Netherlands ahead. It was a fierce back-handed strike that gave the German goalie no chance. Billy Bakker had moved in from the right to find Kellerman unmarked inside the rival ‘D’.
Fuchs equalised from Germany’s second penalty corner and then Staib gave them lead with an opportunistic strike. The Netherlands retaliated with three successive penalty corners in the last five minutes before Pruijser scored with a few seconds left for the hooter to take the match into the tie-breaker.