Bhubaneswar, 11 December 2014: Germany advanced to a semi-final date with Australia following a hard fought 2-0 win over England in the all-European battle, producing a defensive masterclass to upset the form guide. England had won their group while Germany ended Pool B in fourth place.
The Germans started the game in menacing fashion, winning five penalty corners in the opening ten minutes, the last of which came following some outrageous Tobias Hauke skills. Their set piece did not match the approach work, however, England started to create chances of their own.
Tim Whiteman fired into the side-netting while Nick Catlin shot over from good openings and their link-up play was impressive in the build-up. But they were stung a minute before half-time when Germany won their sixth corner and Moritz Furste picked out the top corner.
They duly put in a controlled performance to hold possession, probing the edge of the circle. England came back strong in the closing quarter, Adam Dixon’s shot on the turn drifting agonisingly across the face of goal while Ashley Jackson’s drag-flick was palmed away by Nicolas Jacobi. Lukas Windfeder put in a stunning block, too, to deny Catlin from England’s second corner and their hopes were killed off with three minutes remaining when Christopher Ruhr held his nerve to finish coolly from close range.
Speaking post the win Germany’s Florian Fuchs said “It was an incredible win. We did not play as we should have in the first 3 matches. We finally played as a team which is recognised for their play. We are in a process where the young players are learning, and today’s result will motivate us for the semi finals”.
Speaking on the win Germany Coach Markus Weise said “We were good in the group matches but were better today as we got the advantage in the first two quarters itself and that we did not lose focus in the latter half of the match as well. Quarter finals, was the main challenge in this championship and I am glad that we secured it in our favour. We had about 20 plus circle penetrations and I think we need to work more on the conversions.”
Speaking on qualifying for the semi-finals, Germany Captain Tobias Hauke said “We played excellently today and it was all because of the team effort which helped us make it to the semi-finals. We played differently and focused more on strategy. Today our defence was strong and we even equally attacked aggressively. From here we are looking forward to play against Australia and hopefully try to get into the final”.
Speaking post the team’s loss, England Coach Bobby Crutchley said “Germany played very well and maintained the quality throughout the game and we allowed them to attack which made matters worse for us. Very disappointed and frustrated with the performance of the boys. We got many chances but we failed to convert into goal. We struggled to defend and fell short to keep up with the pace of the game.