Germany have booked their place at the 2012 Champions Trophy tournament by achieving a fifth place finish at the Owen G Glenn FIH Champions Trophy in Auckland, New Zealand.
The European Champions defeated Great Britain 1-0 in a match of few chances, with Thilo Stralkowski netting the only goal of the game with a 30th minute penalty corner. It was a big moment for Stralkowski, who returned to the squad after being left out of Saturday’s 5-0 victory over Pakistan.
The big striker made no mistake with his penalty corner effort, which flew into the bottom right corner of the goal with speed and deception which gave GB keeper James Fair little chance of saving.
Germany had two very good chances to score in the second half, but Great Britain veterans Ken Forbes and Mark Pearn both took balls off the line when a goal seemed a certainty.
Great Britain’s best chance of the match fell to James Tindall with 30 seconds to go, but Germany keeper Nico Jacobi was perfectly placed to deal with Tindall’s rasping strike. It was a save which ensured that gave Germany the victory and their place in the next Champions Trophy. For more information on this match, please click here.
Earlier in the day, Asian Champions Pakistan claimed seventh place by defeating Korea 5-4 thanks to a Golden Goal from Muhammad Rizwan Senior. It was Pakistan’s second win against Korea at the tournament, having beaten their Asian rivals 6-2 earlier in the week. This contest was far less one sided, as Korea matched their opponents for long periods of the game. However, it was Pakistan who ended their tournament on a high when Rizwan fired home in the 5th minute of extra time to seal victory for his team.
Both sides were clearly determined to avoid the ignominy of finish last in the competition and went at each other in determined fashion throughout the first half. Defensive thinking was clearly abandoned as both sides went for the jugular in an effort to leave the tournament with their pride intact. Korea drew first blood in the 5th minute when ace strike Jong Ho Seo angled a deflection past Pakistan keeper Imran Shah before the Green Shirts hit back a minute later thanks to Muhammad Rizwan Seniors first goal of the match.
Korea moved back in front in the 21st minute when an unmarked Kyu Yeob Jang slapped a half volley into the goal only for parity to be restored six minutes later thanks to a typically powerful penalty corner flick by Pakistan captain Muhammad Imran.
Muhammad Tousiq gave Pakistan a 3-2 lead on the stroke of half time before the Green Shirts opened up a 4-2 advantage when Abdul Haseem Khan tapped in following a fine run and pass from Shakeel Abbasi. It seemed that Pakistan were going to run away with it, but Korea have never been known for throwing the towel in and tied the scores with a double from Hyo Sik You to force extra time.
Pakistan’s winner came five minutes into the first period of extra time when the ever lively Abbasi caused chaos with another superb driving run which was eventually finished off by Rizwan. It was a disappointing end for Korea, but Pakistan will be pleased to leave Auckland on a winning note.
For more information on this match, please click here.
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