England grabbed the second spot for the ABN AMRO FIH Champions Trophy final after beating New Zealand 4-3. Germany and Netherlands play for the Bronze Medal while Spain face New Zealand in the 5th place playoff. Germany went 0-1 down to the Netherlands which destroyed their hopes of playing the final in front of their home crowd. Spain could have had a final ticket if they had beaten Australia today.
It’s the best result England have ever achieved in a Champions Trophy because they have never made the top four before. They are also the first team in Champions Trophy history to finish in the top two in spite of a negative goal differential in their group matches.
Last minute goal keeps England’s chances open for the final
England defeated New Zealand 4-3 thanks to a last minute goal from Richard SMITH. New Zealand play for the 5th place tomorrow. Due to the English win, the Netherlands lose their chance of participating in the final.
England took the lead after 20 seconds of play. James TINDALL made a great run defeating three Black Sticks on his way. His shot passed goalie PONTIFEX between his legs. This was the fastest goal England have ever scored in their Champions Trophy history. TINDALL had already owned the record before because he scored after two minutes against Spain in 2009. The Black Sticks equalised when Andrew HAYWARD converted their third penalty corner after he was denied twice before. Although the Black Sticks were pressuring now, England shot the third goal. Simon MANTELL had the second shot on goal for the European Champions in this match and defeated New Zealand’s goalkeeper Kyle PONTIFEX again.
A few minutes before half time TINDALL prepared for a hat trick extending the lead to 3-1. Pushed forward by their cheering supporters New Zealand cut the lead in half. HAYWARD converted another penalty corner scoring his third goal in this tournament. It was also him who tied the score to 3-3. This goal makes him the all time top scorer for the Black Sticks. Richard SMITH smashed in a penalty corner in the last minutes of the game which keeps alive England’s hopes of a spot in the final.
England v New Zealand 4-3 (3-1)
1-0 1’ James TINDALL (FG)
1-1 7’ Andrew HAYWARD (PC)
2-1 21’ Simon MANTELL (FG)
3-1 30’ James TINDALL (FG)
3-2 41’ Andrew HAYWARD (PC)
3-3 65’ Andrew HAYWARD (PC)
4-3 69’ Richard SMITH (PC)
Netherlands destroy Germany’s hopes of playing in the final against Australia
Germany went 0-1 down to the Netherlands and play for the Bronze Medal on Sunday. Netherlands either play for the Bronze as well, or for the 5th place playoff if Spain beat Australia.
The Netherlands knew before this game that they would have no chance of playing in the final. However they needed a big victory to avoid the 5th place playoff. The Dutchmen started with great pace into this game. Germany again seemed not as well structured as usual. A draw could have been enough for the World Champions to secure the final. Mink van der WEERDEN scored the deserved lead for the Netherlands when he smashed their first penalty corner into the left bottom corner. The Dutchmen, always pushed forward by veteran Teun de NOOIJER, dominated the first half but missed showing their strength on the score board. Germany were close to equalising in the 33rd minute but Dutch goalie Jaap STOCKMANN won a one-on-one with Oscar DEECKE.
The second half was a very hectic one: Germany went for the equaliser but had bad luck in converting their chances. Both goalkeepers showed great performances today and denied many opportunities on either side. The phenomenal crowd in the HockeyPark pushed German forward. In the last minute Germany’s seventh penalty corner also failed and the Dutchmen celebrated their deserved victory. However the Netherlands have not definitely avoided the 5th place off yet. In case Spain beat Australia now the Dutch play New Zealand tomorrow morning.
Netherlands v Germany 1-0 (1-0)
1-0 8’ Mink van der WEERDEN (PC)
Being defeated by Australia costs Spain the final
Spain failed to beat Australia what makes them end up in Sunday’s 5th place playoff against New Zealand now. The Kookaburras enter the final without losing points, a mark they had achieved only once before, 1997 in Adelaide.
Spain needed to win this match to grab the second spot in Sunday’s final. A loss would have meant an encounter with New Zealand in the 5th place playoff. Spain started very motivated and were able to control the physically playing Kookaburras at the beginning. Australia were definitely qualified as round-robin champion and did not convince as much as usual. Jason WILSON took the lead for Australia in the 30th minute after he converted the rebound of Luke DOERNER’s penalty corner shot. Pau QUEMADA tied the score to 1-1 four seconds before the halftime whistle by deflecting a pass from Sergi ENRIQUE coming from outside the circle.
The 2-1 for Australia was set up on the left side from Desmond ABBOTT passing to Glenn TURNER relaying it to Russell FORD who lifted it over the goalkeeper. Spain did not seem to be strong enough to come back in this match. Especially when Desmond ABBOTT extended the lead to 3-1 after he had deflected a penalty corner shot from Luke DOERNER over the goal-line, it became obvious that Spain wouldn’t come back. The Olympic Silver Medallists won seven penalty corners in total in this match and missed them all. The chance to beat Australia was given today but Spain could not grab it.
Australia v Spain 3-1 (1-1)
1-0 30’ Jason WILSON (PC)
1-1 35’ Pau QUEMADA (FG)
2-1 40’ Russell FORD (FG)
3-1 53’ Desmond ABBOTT (PC)
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