Malaysian qualification hopes still alive despite heavy defeat
Olympic champions Germany joined England as qualifiers for next year’s Rabobank hockey World Cup thanks to a dazzling display against host nation Malaysia in the Hockey World League Semi Final tournament in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. A noisy and intensely passionate capacity crowd of 3500 people witnessed a master-class in attacking hockey from the world number 1 ranked team, powering to a 6-0 win with all of the goals coming in the first half.
The result completed the line up for the Semi Finals with Germany setting up a meeting with Korea, who defeated Pakistan earlier in the day. The other Semi Final will be contested between England and Argentina, with both matches taking place on Saturday 6th July. More information about the fixtures can be found by clicking here.
By reaching the Semi Finals, Germany ensured that they could not finish any lower than fourth place at the event in Johor. At least one of the two fourth placed teams in the Hockey World League Semi Final stage now guaranteed a place at World Cup. With Germany’s World Ranking (1) being higher than that of New Zealand (6) - who finished fourth at the HWL Semi Final in Rotterdam – their safe place at the World Cup is assured. It is worth noting that there is still a very real possibility that a fifth place finish here in Johor could result in a berth at the World Cup, ensuring the host nation still has everything to play for.
Germany were simply sensational in the first half, ripping through the Malaysian defence at will to net six goals in just 18 minutes. Christopher Zeller scored the first with a lucky penalty corner routine before Linus Butt and Moritz Polk scored goals in the eighth minute to take the score to 3-0. Zeller added fourth goal with a blistering penalty corner flick, before the game was effectively wrapped up by strikes from 2012 FIH Player of the Year Moritz Fuerste and Thilo Stralkowski.
Malaysia were a much improved outfit in the second half and put on a fine performance for their hugely passionate home fans. However, Germany were simply too good on the day and showed exactly why they are the top ranked men’s team in international hockey.Back