Bhubaneswar, 13 December 2014: The Aussies have held the title since 2008, winning five successive titles, while the Markus Weise’s team had not won a medal since Melbourne in 2009 but they continue to grow as this tournament progresses. They built a 3-0 lead by the early stages of the second half and while Australia fought back, they had just enough in the tank to get over the line.
The Germans got off to a dream start with two goals in the first nine minutes. Timur Oruz got a lovely feathered touch to a diagonal pass from Lukas Windfeder. Mats Grambusch then extedned the lead when the ball bounced back to him after the Kookaburras struggled to clear their lines.
His powerful shot took a deflection off Fergus Kavanagh’s foot to give the Aussie goalkeeper Andrew Charter no chance of blocking the ball. Australia did have their moments with Jeremy Hayward shooting wide while Nicolas Jacobi got a brilliant diving stick out to deny Russell Ford a simple tap-in. It remained 2-0 until half-time thanks to a superb Moritz Furste save on the post from a Chris Ciriello penalty corner flick – a block the German captain gleefully celebrated.
A minute after half-time, Germany were 3-0 up as Florian Fuchs picked up the pieces when Charter had denied Martin Zwicker at close quarters. Fuchs dodged away from the goalkeeper before unleashing a beautiful punch shot into the roof of the net from a narrow angle.
Australia duly launched their fightback and had a lifeline in the 34th minute when Ciriello dragged home his fourth goal of the competition. And they were right back in the mix when Nick Budgeon smashed home seven minutes later following a mad scramble in front of the German goal.
It set up a grandstand finish in which Australia piled forward in numbers but they could not take advantage from a corner and a number of goalmouth melees, leaving Germany to celebrate.
Earlier, the 5-8 classification matches saw the Netherlands defeating Belgium 4-2 in a shoot-out competition. The Red Lions had come back from being 2-0 down, the equaliser was a last minute goal scored by Tom Boon. Afterwards Argentina secured their spot in the 5th place payoff match with a narrow 2-1 win over England thanks to a late Gonzalo Peillat strike. While the Netherlands and Argentina will play off for fifth place on Sunday, Belgium meets England in the 7th place playoff.
Speaking on the win, Germany Captain Moritz Furste said, “Today the boys played fantastic and we tried hard to crack their defence and we succeeded. Earlier I said we will reach in the final and I proved myself right. I am proud of my boys. In the finals we would love to play against India in front of this passionate and hockey loving crowd.
Speaking on the performance, Germany Coach Markus Weise said, “It’s a big turnaround, this is young team and everyone played incredibly today. Our self confidence and different techniques has ensured us this finale berth. I am happy with the performance of my team. I must say it’s a good practice for the Olympics and World Cup coming ahead. We always love to play against India and the lovely Indian crowd. Though crowd will be against us but again it will be an experience to play under pressure tomorrow and against them”
Speaking post the loss, Australia Captain Eddie Ockenden said, “We played good in the second half and came back strong. We could have scored couple of goals more, but as we could not convert, it costed us the game. We will have to give our best tomorrow”.