Hockey World Cup: Germany strikes form, Dutch unstoppable (Roundup)

March 4th, 2010 - 1:26 am ICT by IANS  

By Sirshendu Panth
New Delhi, Mar 3 (IANS) Defending champions Germany struck form with vengeance, spanking Canada 6-0, while three times winners the Netherlands moved closer to a semi-final berth with a clinical 3-1 victory over New Zealand in Pool A of the Hockey World Cup here Wednesday.

With two wins on the trot, the Dutch now top the Pool with six points, while Germany are behind them on four.

Korea also have four points after winning the day’s other game, their last-minute strike sinking Argentina 2-1. The Asian champions are now third on goal difference after the fourth day’s action at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

New Zealand, having got past Canada 3-2 in their lung opener Monday, are on three points. Canada and Argentina are yet to open their account after losing both their matches.

Germany sounded a warning to their rivals, as they breathed life into their campaign with a clinical routing of Canada after being held 2-2 by Korea in their first match.

Germany, who are looking to win the World Cup third time on the trot, went 4-0 up in the first half with a field score from Benjamin Wess (3rd minute), and penalty corner conversions from Jan-Marco Montag (21st), captain Maximilian Muller (22nd) and Martin Haner (27th).

Promising striker Florian Fuchs slotted two goals in the second half (58th, 63rd minute) as Germany recorded their second biggest victory in World Cup history. They came close to their best performance, 7-0 win against India in 1998.

Germany completely dominated the first half and controlled the game right from the start. Much of the play was in the Canadian half as German strikers made relentless forays. Canadian goalkeeper Dave Carter had a busy day and made some good saves.

Germany, who wasted half a dozen penalty corners against South Korea, earned eight short corners in the match and converted three, all in the first half.

The Netherlands came roaring back into the game after conceding a goal in the opening minute by New Zealand captain Phillip Burrows who directed into the goal a cross from Steven Edwards.

With skipper Teun de Nooijer playing the playmaker’s role to perfection and creating chances with his neat crosses, the Dutch seized control of the match once Ronald Brouwer (2nd) equalised.

A little later, expert drag-flicker Taeke Taekema (8th minute) converted his fourth successive penalty corner of the tournament to take his World Cup tally to 17 and join his famous countryman, Floris Jan Bovelander as the fourth in the all-time list of top scorers.

Taekema is also this tournament’s top scorer after two matches, with four goals.

Jeroen Hertzberger (27th minute) slammed another as the Netherlands went 3-1 up in the first half.

New Zealand made some smart moves in the second half and were close to scoring at least on two occasion, but found veteran Dutch Guus Vogels in their way. New Zealand missed three penalty corners in the second half.

In the other match of the day, Hyun Woo Nam converted a last minute penalty corner to fetch Korea full points from their first win in the tournament as they beat Argentina,

The two teams were locked goalless at the breather, before Argentina struck the first blow through Facundo Callioni (53rd minute). Nam Young Lee (62nd minute) restored parity for the Koreans.

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