|March 9th, 2010|
|28||Pool A||4:30pm||GER - NZL||5 - 2 (2 - 0)||Final|
Germany, reigning World Cup holders, needed to win against New Zealand to automatically qualify without having to rely on the result of the following match between The Netherlands and Korea. They immediately pushed forward and created a number of chances for Moritz FÜRSTE and Philip WITTE before Christoph MENKE opened the scoring, deflecting high in the goal roof a perfect cross from Florian FUCHS.
New Zealand tried to respond but, still playing without their mercurial leader Phillip BURROWS, they could only produce some timid counter-attacks. Germany were dictating play and increased their lead in the 28th minute by Florian FUCHS, picking up the rebound of a penalty-corner shot initially stopped by Kyle PONTIFEX.
The two teams started second half without much rhythm, making a number of unforced errors and turn-overs. Philip WITTE added a third goal in the 47th minute and the Black Sticks at this moment did not seem to have the resources to react. However, they pulled back a goal by Shea MCALEESE on a penalty-corner loosely defended by Germany then shortly after Nicholas WILSON took advantage of a ball lost by Martin HÄNER in his 25m to bring back his team within one goal. Suddenly the young German crew did not look so confident anymore and it was everybody’s game.
Germany regained some colours with two penalty-corners in quick succession by Moritz FÜRSTE then Matthias WITTHAUS, restoring a more comfortable three-goal cushion. They cruised to a win that qualified them for the semi-finals, with their final placing (first or second) in the pool depending on the following game’s result.
Match facts (Germany v. New Zealand):
> Germany qualified for the semi-finals for a record 11th time.
> Germany only failed to reach the semi-finals at Barcelona 1971.
> New Zealand now play in the Final 7-8 against India, unless Argentina beat Canada. In that case New Zealand play in the Final 9-10 against South Africa.
> The Black Sticks have never finished lower than 10th in the World Cup competition.
> New Zealand’s best finish in the competition is seventh place, which they achieved in Amstelveen 1973, Kuala Lumpur 1975 and Bombay 1982.
> Florian Fuchs is Germany’s leading goal scorer this tournament with 4 goals.
> Germany are reigning Olympic champions and two time defending world champions and are making a bid to become the first nation to win the FIH World Cup three times in a row.