Olympic champions defeat Argentina in showpiece final
Germany are the winners of the Hockey World League Semi Final tournament in Johor Bahru after defeating Argentina 4-2 in a pulsating tournament final. Florian Fuchs scored twice to help the world number 1 side to victory, although they were given a huge test by an Argentinean team that looks capable of rapidly rising up the FIH World Rankings over the next few years.
The match brought to an end a fantastic week of top class hockey in Malaysia, which saw three teams – Germany, Argentina and England – seal their places at the 2014 Rabobank Hockey world Cup. There were also individual prizes handed out to the players who excelled during this tournament, with Germany captain Max Mueller winning the Player of the Tournament while 20 year old Argentina defender Gonzalo Peillat picked up the gong for Talent of the Tournament (U-21). The Goalkeeper of the Tournament award was given to Korea’s Lee Myung Ho, while three players – Abdul Haseem Khan (PAK), Gonzalo Peillat (ARG) and Christopher Zeller (GER) – shared the top scorer awarded with seven goals apiece.
Argentina gave as good as they got in a fiercely contested and hugely entertaining first half, twice coming from behind against the Olympic champions to go into the half time break with the scores on par. Christopher Zeller opened the scoring in the 22nd minute after brilliant build-up play from Moritz Fuerste, but Argentina’s 20 year old penalty corner expert Gonzalo Peillat rattled in a stunning leveller just four minutes later. Florian Fuchs volleyed Germany back in front in the 32nd minute only for Matias Paredes to tie the scores up on the stroke of half time.
The South Americans were arguably the better team in the early stages of the second period, but Germany grew in strength as the half progressed and netted a stunning 67th minute goal when Florian Fuchs touched home a brilliant pass from Christopher Ruehr. The win was sealed by Christopher Wesley in the final minute, who blasted a powerful backhand shot into the roof of the net via the glove of Argentina keeper Juan Vivaldi.
Gold: Germany (Qualified for 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup)
Silver: Argentina (Qualified for 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup)
Bronze: England (Qualified for 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup)
8: South Africa
Top Scorers: 7 goals - Abdul Haseem Khan (PAK), Gonzalo Peillat (ARG) & Christopher Zeller ( GER)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Lee Myung Ho (KOR)
Talent of the Tournament (U-21): Gonzalo Peillat (ARG)
Player of the Tournament: Maximilian Mueller (GER)