Defending World Champion Germany reached the semifinal stage at the Samsung Hockey Indoor World Cup here in Vienna, Austria. Both the German men and women team remained undefeated and are sure of playing in the Final Four with even one more day to play in the preliminary phase.

Germany is still the leading country in indoor hockey. The German men’s team nailed Russia (8-2) and surprisingly strong Switzerland (8-2) on Thursday. The women’s formation from the title holding country took victories over Czech Republic (8-2) and Ukraine (10-2).

Although host Austria cannot win a medal in the women’s competition, the Austrian men still have a chance. The home crowd favorite could already be qualified for the semifinal stage, but lost against Spain (6-4) late Thursday night in one of the most spectacular matches of the Samsung Indoor World Cup so far. Austria was leading at half time 3-2, but the Spanish pressure was too much in the second half.

It was the first defeat of Austria after three straight victories. The result opened up pool B, with Poland, Spain and Austria fighting for two semifinal places.

Some Eastern European teams are doing very well here in the Stadthalle of Vienna, where almost 2’500 hockey fans passed the entry gates on Thursday. The men’s team of Poland is close to a place in the semifinal after the wins over Italy (8-0) and Spain (6-2). Czech Republic only need one more point to make it to the Final Four.

In the women’s Samsung Indoor World Cup, Ukraine only needs a draw to proceed to the semifinal. Although the Ukrainian team lost against Germany, a victory against Italy (5-3) put Ukraine in second place.

In other women’s action, Netherlands booked its third straight victory by winning against Canada (4-2). The Dutch team is the co-leader in pool B together with Spain. The Spanish team won twice on Thursday: 3-1 against Belarus and 5-3 against host Austria.

Action here in Vienna continues on Friday with the last matches in the preliminary round scheduled. In both the men’s and women’s Samsung Indoor World Cup, twelve teams compete in two pools of six for the places in the semifinals, scheduled for Saturday. The finals will take place on Sunday.

For more information, including live scores, photos, match sheets and tournament news, click here.

Samsung Hockey Indoor World Cup

Results Thursday 15 February 2007

Place: Stadthalle Vienna, Austria

Spectators: 2’290.

Men, pool A:
Czech Republic – Australia 7:2 (4:1)
Germany – Russia 8:2 (5:0)
Switzerland – Trinidad & Tobago 6:1 (3:0)
Czech Republic – Russia 5:4 (4:3)
Germany – Switzerland 8:2 (3:0)
Australia – Trinidad & Tobago 5:1 (2:0)

Men, pool B:
Poland – Italy 8:0 (2:0)
Canada – Austria 4:7 (2:2)
Spain – Poland 2:6 (1:3)
Italy – South Africa 7:4 (3:0)
Austria – Spain 4:6 (3:2)

Women, pool A:
Scotland – Australia 2:2 (2:2)
Germany – Czech Rep. 8:2 (5:1)
Italy – Ukraine 3:5 (1:4)
Australia – Italy 5:3 (1:1)
Ukraine – Germany 2:10 (1:4)
Scotland – Czech Republic 5:1 (3:0)

Women, pool B:
Belarus – Spain 1:3 (0:1)
Netherlands – Canada 4:2 (2:1)
Spain – Austria 5:3 (2:2)
Belarus – South Africa 7:1 (5:0)
Austria – South Africa 5:0 (1:0)