Defending champions Germany saw off a late challenge from New Zealand to score a thumping 5-2 victory and booked a semi-final berth in the Hero Honda Hockey World Cup here on Tuesday.

Germany went ahead 3-0 effortlessly early into the second half through goals from Christoph Menke (15th minute), Florian Fuchs (28th) and Philip Witte (47th) before the Black Sticks made a fightback with goals from Shea Mcaleese (50th) and Wilson Nicholas (54th).

The world number one Germans, gunning for a hat-trick of titles, then scored twice in the space of two minutes towards the closing stages through Moritz Furste (63rd) and Matthias Witthaus (64th) to romp home with a morale-boosting vicrtory.

After three wins and two draws, Germany ended the Pool A engagements with 11 points.

New Zealand failed to qualify for the semi-finals with six points from five matches.

The German forwards put pressure on the Kiwis right from the word go while the Black Sticks rarely reached the opposition circle.

The incessant attack paid off and the Germans took lead in the 15th minute with Christoph Menke deflecting a Florian Fuchs’ pass from the left at the roof of New Zealand goal.

Seven minutes later, Jan-Marco Montag dodged past two New Zealand defenders but his reverse stick shot inside the striking circle sailed over the crossbar.

Germany got their first and only penalty corner of the first half in the 28th minute and they double the lead from it with Florian volleying a waist-high rebound off New Zealand goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex.

New Zealand got their first penalty corner one minute from the breather and Nicholas Wilson’s attempt from close range was saved by German goalkeeper Tim Jessulat.

The Germans made it 3-0 in the 47th minute with Philip Witte deflecting a Tobias Hauke shot from outside the striking circle into the goal.

New Zealand struck back scoring twice in five minutes to make it 3-2 by the 54th minute.

Shea Mcaleese scored the first Kiwi goal in the 50th minute following their second penalty corner. He guided the ball into the German net after Andrew Hayward’s strike was deflected by a German defender.

Four minutes later, Wilson Nicholas, who missed a chance in the first half, scored a gem of a goal. He got the better of a German defender, with fine stickwork and then rounded off the advancing goalkeeper before blasting into an empty net.

Germany then scored twice in two minutes, with Moritz Furste converting their third penalty corner in the 63rd minute and Matthias Witthaus volleying a rebound off the New Zealand goalkeeper from their fourth penalty corner few moments later

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