Hockey

Germany wins its tenth title in style

Germany team poses for a photograph after winning the Champions Trophy Hockey tournament at Kalinga Stadium at Bhubaneswar on Sunday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Germany team poses for a photograph after winning the Champions Trophy Hockey tournament at Kalinga Stadium at Bhubaneswar on Sunday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena -

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The Olympic champion rides a wave of support to beat Pakistan

Enjoying the strong backing of a partisan crowd of 7,000 in a city designed by German architect Otto Konigsberger, Olympic champion Germany made itself at home to see Pakistan off 2-0 in the final and lift the Champions Trophy at the Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday.

The World No.3 could not have asked for more as it ended the year by pocketing its 10th Champions Trophy crown. It had last won the tournament in 2007.

A tired and lacklustre India was beaten 2-1 by World champion Australia in the battle for third place.

This was the fifth Champions Trophy final involving Germany and Pakistan, and the previous time they had met in the summit clash was way back in 1994, when Pakistan had emerged champion through penalty shoot-outs in front of home supporters in Lahore.

In changed times, with both teams seeking to groom the youngsters in their squads in the run-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics, the duel assumed importance for different reasons.

Thanks to the plans of master tactician Markus Weise, Germany stifled the Asian Games silver medallist with some brilliant possession and strong marking.

Germany, which shrugged off a below-par start to beat fine teams like England and Australia in the knockout stage, checked Pakistan’s free-flowing style.

Pakistan, facing the spectators’ wrath in the wake of its players’ offensive behaviour the previous night, remained busy protecting its citadel all the time, and could not manage a even a single meaningful attempt at the German goal in the opening 30 minutes.

Led by the effervescent Florian Fuchs upfront, Germany built constant pressure on the rival post, and drew first blood in the 18th minute when Christopher Wesley scored off a rebound following a penalty corner. Germany maintained its stranglehold throughout and created several chances before Fuchs completed a spectacular solo to make it 2-0 three minutes before the hooter.

The Germans celebrated with seconds to go, and thanked the crowd for their overwhelming support.

India, which had to settle for the fourth place for the second consecutive time, was mentally and physically drained after its nerve-wracking semifinal loss to Pakistan on Saturday. It could hardly make an impact in the first half and conceded a goal.

Jacob Whetton fed captain Eddie Ockenden inside the Indian circle with a back-pass and the latter slotted home the World No.1 team’s first goal in the 18th minute.

The Aussies kept things tight but the host managed to earn a breakthrough from its second penalty corner. Lalit Upadhyay scored in the third quarter.

The Indian midfield got into some rhythm, and the forwards worked hard to invade the Aussie circle on many occasions. However, wayward shots and untidy finishing did not help the team.

Australia got the winner when Matt Ghodes found the target in the 52nd minute.

The results:

Final: Germany 2 (Christopher Wesley 18, Florian Fuchs 57) bt Pakistan 0.

Third place: Australia 2 (Eddie Ockenden 18, Matt Ghodes 52) bt India 1 (Lalit Upadhyay 42).

Fifth place: Netherlands 4 (Mink van der Weerden 47, Jeroen Hertzberger 55, 58, Constantijn Jonker 56) bt Argentina 1 (Matias Paredes 19). Seventh place: England 3 (David Condon 14, 19, Chris Griffiths 30) bt Belgium 2 (Florent van Aubel 10, 39).

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 4:12:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/champions-trophy-2014/article6691058.ece

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