Bhubaneswar, Jan 23 (Ajit Weekly News) Germany qualified for the quarterfinals of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Hockey World Cup beating World No. 121 France 5-1 in a Crossover Stage match at the Kalinga Stadium here on Monday.
Germany, who had finished second behind Belgium in Pool B on goal difference after both teams had finished with seven points from two wins and a draw, scored just before the end of the first quarter and then added three goals in the second period as they led 4-0 at half-time. The first two goals came off two faulty defensive traps by the French.
After a goalless third quarter, Germany scored one more goal before absorbing some strong pressure from France during which they earned seven penalty corners and also scored a consolation goal.
Marco Miltkau (14th min), Niklas Wellen (18th min), Mats Grambusch (23rd min), Moritz Trompertz (24th in) and Gonzalo Pellliat (59th min) scored for Germany in the match while Francois Goyat scored the lone consolation goal for France in the 57th minute.
Germany will now take on European rivals England in the last-eight stage encounter.
Germany had a brilliant first half as they controlled the game, attacked in numbers and defended superbly to overwhelm France.
With France coming into the Crossovers after holding Argentina 5-5 in their last league match and spearheaded by the ever-dangerous Victor Charlet, the top scorer with six goals, Germany had to be on their toes and not allow the French any opportunities and they did just that.
They earned penalty corners in the first two minutes but could not convert both chances. France responded well and earned a PC in the 6th minute but the German defence thwarted them. However, a green card to Xavier Gaspard in the 14th minute opened the door for Germany and the World No. 4 scored via a field goal by Mitkau.
The Germans got into their own in the second quarter and despite Timur Oruz getting a green card in the 16th minute, they scored their second goal through the experienced Wellen. They earned two penalty corners in quick succession but could not score. However, skipper Mats Grambusch made it 3-0 for them with a field goal.
Mats Grambusch could have got his second goal within a minute as he powered in a powerful drag flick but Trompertz deflected the ball over the goalkeeper’s leg with a quick deflection as Germany led 4-0 at half-time.
Germany earned three penalty corners in the third quarter but were not successful. Coach Andre Henning’s side seems to have taken the foot off the pedal, which allowed the French to creep into the game.
France held the upper hand in the fourth and final quarter as they launched waves of attacks at the German goal, creating tremendous pressure. But with defender Teo Hinrichs, Tom Grambusch and goalkeeper Alexander Stadler looked unbeatable as they thwarted the French attacks.
They reduced the margin in the 57th minute when Goyet converted a penalty corner to make it 4-1. They could have scored a couple of more goals in this period but for some great work by the German defense.
Substitute Gonzalo Pelliat converted a penalty corner in the 59th minute to restore Germany’s four-goal advantage and sealed a place in the quarterfinal.
–Ajit Weekly News
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