|August 11th, 2012|
|38||Gold||8:00pm||GER - NED||2 - 1 (1 - 0)||Final||x 2|
Jan Philipp Rabente etched his name into German hockey history as his pair of goals helped Markus Weise’s side retain the Olympic title, doing it in breathless style at the Riverbank Arena. Prior to the final, Rabente was the equal lowest goalscorer in the German squad but he proved an unlikely hero with a goal in each half to counter Mink van der Weerden’s penalty corner.
His second came with barely five minutes to go, popping up at the back post to guide home a rapturously received winner, inflicting the Netherlands’ third final defeat in the Olympics. For Weise, it further adds to his legend in the world game, making it three successive Olympics to coaching gold after he helped the women in Athens and the men in Beijing four years ago.
Rabente’s first was the defining moment of the half, a truly superb individual goal. Dancing in from the right sideline, he skipped past the would-be tackles of Sander Baart and Rob van der Horst before cutting back and away from Wouter Jolie. On the slide, he swept past Jaap Stockmann for the lead in the 33rd minute.
It was a highlight in a technically and tactically astute first half that saw both sides have their share of opportunities. Rogier Hofman was the first to shoot, his half-stunned backhand shot almost out-foxing Max Weinhold. The German goalkeeper would later brilliantly deny Billy Bakker twice.
Germany were looking equally threatening as Florian Fuchs’ incredible run and shot whizzed just by the post. Just one corner accrued, going the way of the Dutch, but Roderick Weusthof’s drag-flick was charged down a few minutes before Rabente broke the deadlock with time running out in the half.
And the Germans could have been further ahead when Matthias Witthaus latched onto a loose ball in the circle, created by Benjamin Wess’ right-wing burst, and smashed the inside of the post.
From there, the Dutch laid siege the German goal before the corners eventually came, Sander de Wijn victim of one physical tackle too many. Martin Haener charged down van der Weerden’s first effort but his second was a barnstormer. It sent Max Mueller ducking for cover, meaning he scored in every game in the competition, netting eight times in the tournament.
It reawakened Germany’s attacking intentions as Oskar Deecke’s thrust wreaked havoc and Christopher Zeller’s reverse was batted away by Stockmann. And the winner came in the 65th minute. Rabente’s direct running was once again the key as he raced through; this time on the left and while his initial run was blocked and cleared by Marcel Balkestein. It only went as far as Tobias Hauke, however, and he returned the ball with interest from the 23-metre line, angling it to the back post. In the meantime, Rabente had the presence of mind to run around the back of the goal and was in the perfect position to tip in.
It ended dreams of the Netherlands becoming the first nation to win both men’s and women’s tournaments at the same Games, a feat that has not been done in any sport since Yugoslavia in handball in 1984. For Germany the spoils as they repeated their European championships final victory over the Netherlands to claim their third title since 1992 in thrilling fashion.
Markus WEISE (GER) - coach - gold
On Germany's performance: "It was a super final full of good hockey and fighting spirit from both sides - two top teams. A final always has one sweet part and one bitter part, today we got the sweet part of it. For them it was probably harder to play the final because throughout the tournament they did not experience any difficulties. We did not have great difficulties either but we lost once and we drew once so we had some things to think about. Today in the final it happened for the first time that they had something to think about. Not just easy cruising through, so that was to our benefit."
On whether this is the best German side he has coached (following his third successive Olympic gold medal - two men's and one women's): "I don't think it is a good idea to compare teams with each other, because it is four years difference, they are not the same teams, the sport changes. I can't honestly say - it's a super team, yes, and all the teams I have coached are incomparable. They are different in character and playing style."
Maximilian MUELLER (GER)
On winning the gold medal: "It's unbelievable. After the hard pool matches, we never thought about it. We just about the next match and getting better in the tournament. Getting this medal is unbelievable."
On Jan Philipp RABENTE (GER) scoring two goals: "I'm not surprised because Rabi is a super player. He's one of our midfield players that normally appears more in the defensive part of the midfield. Today he was in the Dutch circle and he scored two goals. I'm very happy for him because sometimes it's good that such players can stand right in the middle of such games. I'm sure he will see his goals more than 100 times in the next few weeks."
Jan Philipp RABENTE (GER)
On scoring two goals in the Olympic final: "It was one of the best moments in my life, I can't really believe it right now."
On scoring his second goal: "It was just destiny to stand in the right place at the right time. Every player would have scored this goal so it's not that important."
Paul VAN ASS (NED) - coach
On the performance of Netherlands: "Congratulations to the German team, I think they played very strong today, stronger than in the European final when we played them. Today they were even better. We too were better as well, but it wasn't to the same degree that they improved. It was a good final. The first quarter we were looking for balance because our midfielder Klaas (VERMEULEN) couldn't play (he got injured in the semifinal). He's a good player and his leadership is also important for our team, especially when we try to go one on one or they try to press us."
On how he would have preferred to play Australia in the final: "I would have like to play against Australia to be honest because they are another culture again and they are number one in the world, although I don't think they will be after this tournament. That would have been fun and a big challenge. But this was also a big challenge, it was OK."
On the match: "In the first quarter it was definitely for Germany; in the second quarter we got a bit of control and then the Germans scored a goal. It wasn't great but they did it. Then after half-time we drew 1-1 and I thought, 'now we can get the initiative,' but again they made it 2-1 and that killed us - maybe it was a lack of time. They defended super today, super. You can see we have been very skilful throughout this tournament but their defence beat our skills in the end."
Christopher ZELLER (GER)
On winning his second Olympic gold: "It is indescribable. To win again and in such a close match is unbelievable. Tonight was a big fight against two very good teams but we believe in ourselves, and have always believed, but to actually do it is another thing."
On playing Netherlands (NED) in the final after losing to them in their pool match: "It was good for us to meet them again in the final. This time we did not make mistakes, so we made up for losing when we played them last. I think it was meant to happen."
On what he will do after London 2012: "It has been a long two weeks so now we will party of course. I don't think I will be at another Olympics as by then I will be 30/31, so now is my time. I think I would like to finish my studies in law after hockey."
Philipp ZELLER (GER) - gold
On what it feels like to have won gold: "It's just amazing. I'm so overwhelmed with all the impressions I have right now. I'm just happy that all the work paid off today. I'm very proud of my team."
On the match: "The Netherlands did a lot right today, they had enough chances but our defence was just too good today and the fighting and winning spirit in our team was too big. It's just great."
Floris EVERS (NED)
On the team's performance: "We didn't play the best match. We played a really good tournament, especially when you see the young guys in the team, with a lot of people in their first Olympics.
"It was a 50-50 game, and against the Germans they will make it a 50-50 game, because they are good with those kind of games. So my compliments to them. For us, it's a little bit disappointing that we didn't play the best hockey. But overall I'm really proud of the team. It could have been better but we'll celebrate the silver."
On why they lost the match: "We were a little bit impressed by playing an Olympic final. I don't think we did it all wrong, but we didn't do it all right. We could have played more attacking hockey, but maybe that's inexperience."
Teun DE NOOIJER (NED)
On the defeat to Germany: "I think we played OK in the second half. In the first half we had some good opportunities, we were, maybe, a bit unlucky with converting them. They had the same amount of chances and they scored a few minutes before the end. Then it is difficult to win. But we gave everything we've got so I think we can be very, very proud with the tournament that we have played and, maybe, with the result, a great silver medal and I think Holland is back where it belongs. That's in an Olympic final and at the top of world hockey. We have a very young squad and they will be good in the near future."
On his assessment of the tournament: "The tournament was great for me. I got a great deal of energy from the younger kids in our team. They were great and played fantastically. They pushed me to get the best out of myself"
On his future: "I will be in Rio (2016) but looking, as a fan of hockey. Maybe I will do something in hockey, we will see. First, though, I will play one more year at my club Bloemendaal (Netherlands) and see what happens after that."
|August 11th, 2012 at 1:48 pm||Gold Medal match between Germany and The Netherlands just about to start at the Riverbank Arena in London!|
|August 11th, 2012 at 1:48 pm||Umpires for GER vs. NED are David GENTLES (AUS) and Ged CURRAN (GBR)|
|August 11th, 2012 at 1:48 pm||Germany won their semi-final against Australia (2-4)|
|August 11th, 2012 at 1:49 pm||The Netherlands destroyed Great Britain in the other semi-final (9-2)|
|August 11th, 2012 at 1:54 pm||Germany are defending Olympic Champions and ranked #2 in the World Rankings|
|August 11th, 2012 at 1:54 pm||The Netherlands are ranked #3 in the World Rankings|
|August 11th, 2012 at 1:55 pm||In pool play earlier in this competition, The Netherlands beat Germany 3-1|
|August 11th, 2012 at 1:59 pm||Great atmosphere in the packed Riverbank Arena. Many German fans, although not as visible as the Dutch ones, all clad in orange|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:03 pm||Robbert Kemperman (NED) wiggles his way in the German circle but Maximilian Muller intercepts|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:04 pm||The Dutch fans have a complete brass band in the South Stands!|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:06 pm||Rogier Hofman enters the circle and his shot surprises Max Weinhold in the German goal. Muller clears the rebound.|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:07 pm||Christopher Wesley runs on the back line and threatens Jaap Stockmann in the Dutch goal.|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:09 pm||Intense battle between the two side. GER-NED 0-0 after 10mn of play|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:13 pm||The individual skills of the 20 field players is amazing. Hardly an error or mis-trapped ball despite the permanent pressure|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:15 pm||No risk taken on either side. Players retreat quickly as soon as the ball is lost or not accessible. GER-NED 0-0 after 15mn|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:21 pm||Scramble in front of the German goal! Floris Evers finds the ball but could not shoot and the ball is cleared.|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:21 pm||GER-NED 0-0 after 20mn|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:23 pm||Florian Fuchs runs on 50m through the whole Dutch defense but shoots wide|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:26 pm||Robbert Kemperman does all the hard work but Billy Bakker lifts the ball just wide with Max Weinhold down|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:27 pm||Subtle pass from Teun De Nooijer to Valentin Verga who is impeded at the top of the circle. penalty-corner NED|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:29 pm||Roderick Weusthof's flick is countered by the German runners. GER-NED 0-0 after 30mn|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:29 pm||Green card for Thilo Stralkowski (GER)|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:32 pm||Floris Evers (NED) and Max Weinhold (GER GK) are having a "friendly chat"!|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:34 pm||Jan Philipp Rabente enters the Dutch circle, runs on his own and beats Jaap Stockmann while diving. GER-NED 1-0 with 1mn left|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:36 pm||Half-time. Precious one-goal lead for Germany late in the period. GER-NED 1-0|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:44 pm||The Dutch are eager to go back to battle: they are back on the pitch 2 minutes before the end of the break.|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:47 pm||Cold evening in London, but hot battle on the pitch and torrid atmosphere in the stands. GER-NED 1-0|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:57 pm||Christopher Wesley arrives alone in front of Jaap Stockmann. The Dutch keeper stands tall and saves. GER-NED 1-0 with 25mn left|
|August 11th, 2012 at 2:57 pm||This time, Jaap Stockmann is saved by his post on a Matthias Witthaus' shot|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:03 pm||Penalty-corner for The Netherlands. It had been brewing for a while.|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:04 pm||Martin Haner (GER) runs down the first attempt. New PC given|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:06 pm||Mink Van Der Weerden flicks out of reach of the German goal-keeper. GER-NED 1-1 with 15mn to go|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:06 pm||Penalty-corner for Germany on the next action!|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:08 pm||Martin Haner's flick is easily handled by Jaap Stockmann. GER-NED 1-1|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:08 pm||Green card for Christopher Wesley (GER)|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:11 pm||The Netherlands have some momentum now.|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:12 pm||Ten minutes to go in the Final between Germany and The Netherlands. Still tied 1-1. Will we have overtime?|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:14 pm||Penalty-corner Germany for a NED defender's foot in the circle.|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:16 pm||Video-referral called by the Dutch team on the penalty-corner. Free hit to NED. Still 1-1 with now 6mn to go.|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:19 pm||Jan Philipp Rabente does it again. He needed two shots but scored his 2nd goal of the night. GER-NED 2-1 with less than 4mn!|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:20 pm||The Dutch players are all up to try and equalize in the final minutes.|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:22 pm||Timo Wess runs down a shot and is hurt on the foot. He needs to leave the pitch.|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:22 pm||21 players are in the German 25m!|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:25 pm||Game over. The Germans can't believe it. They repeat their win from 4 years in Beijing.|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:28 pm||The Netherlands finish with the Silver medal, small consolation...|
|August 11th, 2012 at 3:31 pm||Markus Weise has won 3 Olympic Gold Medals in a row: German women in 2004, German men in 2008 and 2012|