|July 30th, 2012|
|6||Pool B||9:15pm||GER - BEL||2 - 1 (1 - 1)||Final||x 2|
Christopher Zeller’s 45th minute touch was just about enough to edge Germany past the post against Belgium in the final game of men’s day one to join Korea and the Netherlands on three points. They were decent value for the spoils but their inability to make more of their chances meant Belgium always had a sniff of a result they nearly nicked in a fractious second period.
Jerome Dekeyser’s beautiful whipped third minute penalty corner capped a brilliant opening for the red lions. Cedric Charlier almost had a second soon after when he pumped goalward and Max Weinhold could only half stop the shot. It bobbled around the goal line before Timo Wess managed to eventually clear before Gauthier Boccard could chip in.
But Germany discovered their mojo as time wore on, levelling at 1-1 when Jan Philipp Rabente stole in down the left baseline, finding Florian Fuchs, evading Vincent Vanasch in the process and rolling home. After a brief lull after a spectacular start, Germany – with Max Mueller exceptional in defence – began to turn the screw but despite chances for Thilo Stralkowski, Oilver Korn and Oskar Deecke, half time concluded 1-1.
The second half followed a similar pattern as Germany had many chances, Rabente miscuing a gilt-edged chance before Zeller finally weighed in. His touch was light enough to be missed initially by the umpires but a referral showed he had redirected past Vanasch.
Xavier Reckinger took a Timo Wess drag off the line, too, while more scramble defence denied another corner before Belgium sensed an opportunity to pounce. Especially so when Simon Gougnard was sandwiched by a couple of defenders, allowing Tom Boon – recovered from a nasty first half injury – to have a late corner shot. His effort drew a massive cheer from his fans but had, in fact, slipped inches wide. It was their last chance and saw Germany off and running with all the points.