|August 9th, 2012|
|33||SF||3:30pm||AUS - GER||2 - 4 (1 - 1)||Final|
Germany produced a scintillating second half display to fully merit their final berth, finding their most fluid hockey of the tournament to gain a modicum of revenge on Australia. Trailing 2-1 after 43 minutes, Germany bossed Australia in a manner unseen in the tournament to date with Matthias Witthaus, Timo Wess and Florian Fuchs picking off a trio of delightfully crafted goals.
Pre-match, the European side came in with plenty of scores to settle, chief among them the 2010 World Cup final defeat and they appeared to initially cope well with the Aussies’ forceful, high press. Christopher Zeller looked in the mood. His powerful run left Joel Carroll in his wake while Kieran Govers and Matthew Swann also attempt to stall his run.
It sent the striker sprawling with a corner initially given before the video review confirmed the foul took place outside the circle. But he was the first to have a drag at goal as friendly fire clattered Matthew Butturini’s foot. Nathan Burgers stopped it well, clipping it away from the in-rushing Matthias Witthaus. The kookaburras hit the front, however, in the 22nd minute off the back of Glenn Turner’s brilliant incision. His thumping shot bounced up off Weinhold but Hamish Jamson held his whistle well and Govers walloped the ball through the German goalkeeper’s legs as he scrambled to try and block.
Sweet Eddie Ockenden and Jamie Dwyer touches almost yielded a second but Weinhold saved from Chris Ciriello – playing his 100th international – as well as from Govers from corners. Sandwiched between those efforts was the equaliser, Moritz Furste nailing a low corner bullet in the 26th minute, a goal that ensured parity at the half-time break. It was a pulsating battle, played at an incredible tempo throughout and this manner continued into the second half.
Glenn Turner restored the lead in the 43rd minute as a right-wing cross got hammed in Weinhold’s pads, Turner fished it out for Ockenden to slap back into the mix and the striker duly gobbled up his fourth of the campaign. The response, though, was immaculate. Oskar Deecke was denied one of the goals of the tournament by mere centimetres on a video referral when Oskar Deecke’s lob was controlled at waist-high and popped up and over Nathan Burgers’ shoulder without hitting the deck. His third touch was the one that denied the breath-taking moment, connecting just over shoulder height.
His side were level when Matthias Witthaus swept home from the right as Tobias Hauke’s pint-point pass in the 54th minute, rewarding a period of encampment in Aussie territory. And when a video referral worked in their favour to win a corner four minutes later, Timo Wess pushed home his first goal of the tournament off the back of Zeller’s spin-switch.
Then, the crowing glory. Australia, behind in a game for the first time in the tournament, pressed for an equaliser but could only find a brick wall of defenders. Hauke dispossessed them on his own penalty spot, starting a 90 metre move that set Benjamin Wess free on the left. Florian Fuchs hared forward the length of the pitch to slide onto his cross and win it with seven minutes to go.
For coach Markus Weise, it means he could be in line for a third successive Olympic gold. Previously, he coached the German ladies to glory in Athens in 2004 and subsequently repeated the trick with the men in 2008.
Markus WEISE (GER) - coach
On the match: "It was a super semifinal. I am pleased with the performance, it was a big match and this time we were at the other end of it. I'm sure next time it would be different. We showed super passion and fighting spirit, but it wasn't just about this spirit, we played hockey and had good tactics. There were not many chances, usually you have to defend about 20 Australia chances, which is an achievement against Australia."
Maximilian MUELLER (GER) captain
On the result: "Of course, I am happy. Maybe the happiest guy in the tournament. Playing against Australia is always tough. They are physically strong, it was a hard and strong and fast game."
On the final: "We will regenerate and relax. No thoughts about the final right now, maybe tomorrow evening we will think about our opponents."
On the secret to the coach's success (WEISE has led Germany to three successive finals): "This is probably a hard question. Markus is very good at getting us focused on the games and relaxing between them. He has given us sharp pace and dynamic focus."
Ric CHARLESWORTH (AUS) - coach
On the defeat: "We who play sport know that each game has a winner and a loser. Today we fell short of winning and are disappointed. Each team had their chances and it's the small margins that make the difference. The goal that brought Germany back into the game was a soft turnover in the middle of the field."
On getting his players ready for the bronze medal match: "It's very difficult, but that's the task. We'll use today to recover and then think about our opponent. It's not easy, but our players are ambitious and it's still a chance to win an Olympic medal."
On whether his team switched off when Australia were leading 2-1: "No, I don't think so. The game was very intense at every minute of the game. Their goal came at a bad time, which made it harder for us, maybe another day it doesn't happen like this. But even at 3-2 I was still confident."
On Australia's last two matches, suffering late comebacks from the opposition: "We had only conceded five goals against us before today and three of them were own goals. I don't read anything into it. At the end of the day, good teams cause you damage."
On his future: "I have put my family through a lot with this job. Four more years at my stage would be heroic. I'm not as young as Markus (WEISE, GER)."
Jamie DWYER (AUS)
On Australia's last two matches, suffering late comebacks: "I don't know, today we made some errors, Germany scored and capitalised on our mistakes. Against Argentina we got lucky and with Great Britain I don't know what happened. It's not about our fitness, we're all fit. Maybe we just need to be thorough for the full 70 minutes."
On his feelings: "It's tough, obviously. You train four years for this. I've been to three Olympic Games and was lucky enough to win in my first tournament and then I felt like this at the last one when we lost our semifinal against Spain. But this is the position we put ourselves in, we have to get over it and pick something up from the tournament."
On his future: "I want to concentrate on the next game and then after the games I have a couple of months off, which I will spend with my family. After that I will re-assess where I am heading."
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:13 am||First semi-final between Australia and Germany just about to start at the Riverbank Arena in London|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:13 am||Umpires for AUS vs. GER are Gary SIMMONDS (RSA) and Hamish JAMSON (GBR)|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:13 am||Australia won Pool A with 3 wins and 2 draws|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:14 am||Germany finished 2nd in Pool B with 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss (to The Netherlands)|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:19 am||Australia are ranked #1 in the World Rankings, Germany are ranked 2nd|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:21 am||Germany are the defending Olympic Champions, Australia are the defending World Cup Champions. It does not get better than that!|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:30 am||Fantastic atmosphere in a packed Riverbank Arena. As many German and Australian fans.|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:32 am||Christopher Ciriello is playing his 100th match for Australia today. He has scored 53 international goals so far.|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:33 am||Both goalkeepers (Nathan Burgers for AUS and Max Weinhold for GER) are called into action early|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:39 am||Germany are circulating the ball wide around the AUS defense. The Kookaburas use a more direct style of attack|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:45 am||The pace is fast and furious, but with hardly any circle penetration so far at either end|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:47 am||Mark Knowles manages to catch a ball crossing the circle but cannot turn fast enough to adjust his shot on goal|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:48 am||AUS-GER still 0-0 after 17mn|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:50 am||Christopher Zeller is taken down while running into the circle. The penalty-corner is appealed to the video-umpire...|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:51 am||Penalty-corner denied: the foul was outside the circle|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:52 am||Germany earns another penalty-corner anyway on the next play|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:54 am||Christopher Zeller' low flick is saved by Nathan Burgers. AUS-GER 0-0|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:55 am||On the next attack, Kieran Govers picks up a high rebound from the German keeper and slams it in goal to open the scoring|
|August 09th, 2012 at 9:57 am||Penalty-corner for AUS: Kieran Govers cannot surprise the German defense this time. AUS-GER 1-0 after 25mn|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:00 am||Matthias Witthaus earns a penalty-corner for Germany: Moritz Furste slots it low. AUS-GER 1-1|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:00 am||Green card for German Captain Maximilian Muller|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:01 am||It is a penalty-corner battle. Another one for Australia now.|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:02 am||It is a penalty-corner battle. Another one for Australia now, but Christopher Ciriello cannot threaten Max Weinhold. AUS-GER 1-1|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:07 am||Chance for Oskar Deecke who steals a ball between two Australians and runs into the circle, but cannot unleash his shot|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:08 am||Half-time: score is tied 1-1 in a very intense match between Australia|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:17 am||Australia and Germany are back on the field for a second period that promises to be explosive!|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:20 am||Oliver Korn plays quickly a free hit for himself, accelerates over 50m and unleashes a shot just inches wide. AUS-GER 1-1|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:21 am||Umpires have to stop the game to attend to their communication radios...|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:27 am||Glenn Turner scores for AUS from a goalmouth scramble after batting the ball 2 or 3 times to the keeper. AUS-GER 2-1|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:28 am||Still 27 minutes to go. The Aussie fans have found back their voices.|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:34 am||Oskar Deecke equalizes for Germany but the goal is denied after a video-referral by the umpire.|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:35 am||Germany now want a review of the referral... but the umpire stays on his decision. AUS-GER 2-1 with 21 mn left|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:36 am||Oskar Deecke's goal was a splendid lob of the Australian goalkeeper, but he played the ball with a high stick|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:39 am||Green card to Christopher Zeller (GER) for giving his opinion to the umpire...|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:41 am||Matthias Witthaus is left unmarked in the circle and coolly beats the Australian keeper to equalize. AUS-GER 2-2 with 15mn left|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:42 am||Australia are under intense German pressure now.|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:48 am||Penalty-corner Germany: Timo Wess scores after a swift option with Christopher Zeller. AUS-GER 2-3 with now 10mn to go|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:49 am||The last ten minutes of the match will be red hot at the Riverbank Arena!|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:52 am||Florian Fuchs dives to deflect in goal a long pass by Benjamin Wess. AUS-GER 2-4. Only 6 minutes to go|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:53 am||It is the turn of the German fans to sing in the stands. Their team is 5 minutes from the Olympic Final.|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:57 am||The Australians are playing desperate now. The clock is ticking down for them... 2 minutes left and 2 goals down...|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:57 am||The whole German team is in defense in the circle|
|August 09th, 2012 at 10:58 am||Australian have replaced the goalkeeper with an additional field player, but it is too little too late.|
|August 09th, 2012 at 11:01 am||Phenomenal 2nd period by Germany, scoring 3 goals to win their spot in the Olympic Final on Saturday.|
|August 09th, 2012 at 11:01 am||Australia are bitterly disappointed to have to play for Bronze|