The Germans’ love story with the junior World Cup hockey tournament continued unabated. Germany edged past a resilient Netherlands 5-3 in a charged-up semifinal.
The fluent Germans were too hot to handle. Their midfield gelled exceedingly well and centre-half Mats Grambusch led the show by relaying the ball nicely to his superfast colleagues on the front line.
The Germans seized initiative through Lukas Windfeder’s fourth-minute goal from the first penalty corner. Windfeder’s shot kissed a defender’s stick before beating Dutch custodian Piet Noordam on the right. Germany applied constant pressure by penetrating the rival circle at will. Winning back possession was an important facet of the German domination.
Windferder’s second short corner conversion in the 14th minute pushed the Dutch completely on the back foot and they replaced Noordam with reserve goalkeeper Jan de Wijkerslooth three minutes later.
Milan van Baal’s 20th minute rare intrusion into the German arch was single-handedly thwarted by a brave Victor Aly. The German goalkeeper was again in focus foiling Netherlands’ first penalty corner in the 35th minute.
Christophre Ruhr’s magical solo effort made it 3-0. But the Dutch strikers managed a few raids after the change of havles until a moment of indiscretion cost the Germans a penalty stroke and things fell apart.Tom Hiebendaal narrowed the lead and Thierry Brinkman slotted home from an organized Dutch invasion. With new found energy, the Dutch attacked vehemently and Germany conceded another penalty stroke with 10 minutes to go. Hiebendaal sounded the board.
Max Kapaun and Niklas Wellen found the mark in the last five minutes.
The results (semifinal): Germany 5 (Lukas Windfeder 4, 14; Christopher Ruhr 47; Max Kapaun 66; Niklas Wellen 68) bt the Netherlands 3 (Tom Hiebendaal 49, 60; Thierry Brinkman 50).
Classification matches: Australia 2 (Cameron Joyce 23; Dylan Wotherspoon 44) bt New Zealand 1 (Jared Panchia 20).
Keywords: Junior World Cup hockey tournament