|March 1st, 2010|
|05||Pool A||6:30pm||GER - KOR||2 - 2 (0 - 2)||Final|
Two-time defending World Champions Germany started the defense of their title against Korea, a team against which they are unbeaten in World Cup history. Things did not start well for them: after scrambling two penalty-corners, they had to defend one earned after video-referral by the Koreans, and Hye Sung HYUN made no mistake to power his drag-flick past Maximilian MÜLLER in the German goal.
Benjamin WESS earned another penalty-corner after running around the Korean defense, but Myung Ho LEE made a clean glove save to protect his goal. The German team is the youngest in the competition with an average of only 24, and only three payers in the current squad have World Cup experience (Matthias WITTHAUS, Jan-Marco MONTAG and Moritz FÜRSTE) but certainly does not lack talent and skills. They were circulating the ball crisply but could not penetrate a patient and well regrouped Korean defense, exploding in speedy counter-attack each time they were taking possession of the ball.
Korea increased their lead in the 15th minute by Nam Yong LEE, with a spectacular reverse stick shot from a narrow angle. Germany had more chances on penalty-corners, but their various options were unsuccessful and they were even lucky to avoid a third goal when Sung Hoon YOON outran the defense but powered his shot just wide.
The young Germans pushed boldly in second period, and often had the Koreans on their heels, but still could not get on the scoreboard. They were finally rewarded in the 50th minute when youngster Florian FUCHS deflected acrobatically in goal a free hit driven into the circle by Moritz FÜRSTE. They maintain their pressure and play did not leave the Korean defensive zone for long period of time. Benjamin WESS equalized in the 58th minute after a broken penalty-corner that evolved into a furious scramble in the Korean circle.
This set the stage for a very intense end of game, with both teams throwing caution to the wind to try and score again. Sung Hoon YOON had a golden chance in front of the empty goal, but he could not control the bouncing ball, while at the other end the Koreans barely get themselves out of another messy situation. The match ended on a parity score, with the Koreans dominant to start with then the Germans showing their strength and talent after shaking off their initial nerves.
Match Facts (Germany v. Korea):
> Germany came back from 2 goals down to draw 2-2 with Korea and avoid their first defeat against Korea in 5 World Cup matches.
> Germany extended their World Cup unbeaten run to 14-matches, the third longest unbeaten streak in the history of the competition and the longest in 20 years.
> Germany have now failed to beat Korea in their last three competitive encounters drawing 3-3 at the 2008 Olympic Games, losing 5-3 at the 2009 Champions Trophy and drawing 2-2 at the 20101 World Cup.
> Korea led 2-0 at half-time. The last time GER were at least 2 goals behind at half-time in a World Cup match was in the 1994 Bronze medal match against AUS (4-0), which ended 5-2.
> Florian Fuchs scored his eighth international goal in only his eighth appearance for the German National team.