Pool A begins to take shape at the HWL Semi Final in Johor
POOL A: London 2012 Olympic Gold medallists Germany produced a stunning second half performance by scoring five unanswered goals to record a 5-0 win over Korea. Prodigious 19 year old Christopher Ruehr scored a late double following an own goal and penalty efforts from Moritz Fürste and Christopher Zeller. The result puts Germany level on points with Argentina, who were also big winners thanks to a 7-1 triumph against Japan earlier in the day.
Extended reports and video highlights can be found below.
Korea – Germany 0-5 (0-0)
London 2012 Olympic Gold medallists Germany produced a stunning second half performance by scoring five unanswered goals to record a 5-0 win over Korea. Prodigious 19 year old Christopher Ruehr scored a late double following an own goal and penalty efforts from Moritz Fürste and Christopher Zeller.
There was very little to choose between the two teams for the majority of the first half, with both Korea and Germany showing excellence in defence to deny any clear goal-scoring opportunities. Korea had arguably the best of the early chances with a penalty corner, but Germany keeper Nico Jacobi palmed the high flick away to safety.
Jacobi was certainly the busier of the two keepers in the first half and was called into action to deny efforts from You Hyo Sik and Korean captain Lee Seung Il, while Germany’s Florian Fuchs came within a whisker of touching home a superb pass from strike partner Christopher Zeller. 2012 FIH Player of the Year Moritz Fürste hit an effort into the keeper's pads on the stroke of half time, but the teams went into the break with the score locked at 0-0.
Germany took the lead early in the second half thanks to an own goal, with a cross from the left hitting a Korean stick before dribbling over the line. The goal sparked the Germans into life, and they added another two goals thanks to penalty corner efforts from Fürste and Zeller. Zeller’s effort was an absolute belter, with Korean goalkeeper Lee Myung Ho wafting at thin air as the ball rocketed into the roof of the net.
Despite the comfort of a three goal cushion, the Olympic champions of 2008 and 2012 showed no desire to rest on their laurels and set about adding to their tally. They came close in the final ten minutes when a shot from the left rattled the post before teenager Christopher Ruehr grabbed two superb goals late in the match. The first of those was certainly the goal of the game, with the youngster creating space for himself before launching a glorious backhand effort that flew just under the crossbar.
Argentina – Japan 7-1 (3-0)
Argentina became the first team to win a match at the Hockey World League Semi Final in Johor Bahru, Malaysia with a comprehensive 7-1 victory over Japan. Goals from Facundo Callioni (2), Matias Paredes, Gonzalo Peillat, Lucas Villa, Guillermo Schickendantz and Agustin Mazzilli ensured that the in-form South Americans moved onto four points, temporarily putting them at the top on Pool A ahead of the later game between Korea and Germany.
The first 15 minutes of the match were evenly contested, with both teams having an equal share of possession while goal-scoring chances were limited to a couple of penalty corners at either end.
Eventually though, Argentina started to take control of the game and created a decent scoring opportunity through Juan Martin Lopez, who fired a shot into the pads of Japan keeper Katsuya Takese.
The opening goal of the game arrived in the 20th minute, with Argentina’s Facundo Callioni getting a brilliant touch on a cross from the right to guide the ball into the roof of the net.
The South Americans doubled their advantage when Matias Paredes volleyed home after Lucas Rossi forced two excellent saves from Japan shot-stopper Takese, before Callioni produced another world class finish with a diving deflection on the stroke of half time.
Argentina continued their good form in the second half, with Guillermo “Willy” Schickendantz forcing a fine save from Takese with a slap-shot just before the fourth goal came courtesy of a trademark penalty corner from Gonzalo Peillat.
The fifth goal was arguably the goal of the tournament so far, with Manuel Brunet escaping his marker down the right before sending a stunning pass to the predatory Lucas Villa, who chipped the ball over the onrushing Takese.
With the score at 5-0, Japan coach Kang Keon Wook decided to replace goalkeeper Takese with Akira Morishima, who produced a number of high quality blocks before eventually being beaten by a terrific Schickendantz penalty corner drag flick, giving the 34 year old his first goal of the tournament.
Argentina’s final goal came from the stick of Agustin Mazzilli, who fired in a reverse stick effort from the tightest of angles ahead of a consolation penalty corner goal from Katsuyoshi Nagasawa.
The result gives Argentina a huge boost in confidence ahead of Tuesday’s final pool match against Korea.Back