Hockey

Hockey World Cup: Germany stretched by a tenacious Pakistan

The clincher: Miltkau Marco, despite being challenged by Pakistan goalkeeper Salman Butt, managed to score for Germany.  

Germany laboured to a narrow 1-0 win over a fighting Pakistan in its opening Pool D match of the Hockey World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium here on Saturday.

Marco Miltkau’s 36th minute goal helped the world No. 6 collect three points against the 13th-ranked Pakistan, which surprised all with its admirable resistance.

Cutting down on its flashy game, Pakistan fought valiantly to keep the German strikers quiet for the first 30 minutes.

Germany nearly took the lead when Christopher Ruhr’s stunning shot into the circle was deflected by Benedikt Furk but was unlucky to miss.

Rashid Mehmood and Tasawar Abbas’ effort symbolised Pakistan’s tenacity as the green shirts guarded their fort with composure.

Without being able to manoeuvre into the Pakistan penalty area, Germany improved its possession and attempted long hits. But Florian Fuchs and Niklas Wellen’s efforts on goal did not bear fruit.

Improvisation

Germany improvised its tactics and managed to break through the solid Pakistan wall after the change of ends.

Tobias Hauke sent in a beautiful pass, Wellen deflected it to the goalmouth in a flash and Miltkau dived hard to touch it in despite being challenged by goalkeeper Salman Butt and another defender.

Pakistan almost drew parity two minutes later when Muhammad Zubair slid spectacularly in the German circle. The opening goal made the action more free flowing as Pakistan looked for the equaliser and Germany, which earned a solitary penalty corner, tried to double its lead.

Germany’s second goal was disallowed in the 54th minute as Wellen’s reverse hit went into the post off Miltkau’s leg. The video umpire reversed the decision.

The results: Pool D: Germany 1 (Miltkau 36) bt Pakistan 0; the Netherlands 7 (Jeroen Hertzberger 11, 29 and 60, Mirco Pruijser 21, Mink van der Weerden 35, Robbert Kemperman 42, Thierry Brinkman 57) bt Malaysia 0.


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 7:44:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/germany-stretched-by-a-tenacious-pakistan/article25644239.ece

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