Fifth Place Game
Belgium – Germany 5-4 (2-0 halftime)
Belgium hung on in a wild ride against Germany for a 5-4 extra-time win in a critical fifth-place game at the 2012 Champions Trophy. The loss gives the current World #1 Germans a sixth-place finish and does not guarantee the Olympic Champions a spot at the next Champions Trophy. Meanwhile, Belgium’s fifth-place finish ensures the Red Lions a spot at the next Champions Trophy.
Germany came back from a 3-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead in a 20-minute span in the second half. But unlike its game yesterday, the Germans ran out of magic as Belgium evened things up just before the final horn, sending the game into extra time. Sebastien Dockier put in the game-winner three minutes into extra time for the 5-4 win.
Belgium jumped out to a 2-0 lead as John-John Dohmen struck twice for his team in the first half. The lead bumped up to three goals early in the second half when Dockier scored his first of two goals.
But Germany worked its second half magic for a second straight game, erasing the three-goal lead in a 15-minute span. Patrick Schmidt and Benedikt Fuerk and Mats Grambusch each scored to make it a tie game. The comeback was completed when Moirtz Polk put in the 4-3 goal with six minutes left in the game.
The wild ride continued with just over two minutes left in the regulation when Alexandre de Saedeleer scored on a penalty stroke to tie the score at four and send the game into overtime.
The bottom three teams from this Champions Trophy are relegated. Germany joins New Zealand and England as one of the three teams that are not guaranteed a spot at the next edition. Argentina, which won the recently-concluded Champions Challenge 1, will join the Champions Trophy field and the other two places will be awarded by the FIH Executive Board at a later date.
Seventh Place Game
England - New Zealand 2-3 (1-1 halftime)
Nicholas Wilson’s goal seven minutes into extra time lifted New Zealand to a seventh place finish at the 2012 Champions Trophy. The Black Sticks topped England in the game, meaning the #4 team in the FIH World Ranking end the annual event in last place and is relegated to the Champions Challenge level.
The game was an entertaining early-morning affair with the teams competing hard to avoid the last-place finish. It was a 1-1 draw at the break with goals from New Zealand’s Stephen Jenness and England’s Darren Cheesman. England took its first lead 21 minutes into the second half only to see it erased five minutes later, setting up the first extra time of this edition of the Champions Trophy.
Despite the victory, New Zealand is also relegated to the Champions Challenge, however, there are two precious wild card spots available, which will be determined by the FIH Executive Board at a later date. With some of the top teams not making the cut here in Melbourne, competition is sure to be fierce for those wild card positions for the next edition of the Champions Trophy in India.
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