Hockey: Germany topple Pakistan in Champions Trophy final
- Updated: December 15, 2014
December 15, 2014: Goals from Christopher Wesley and Florian Fuchs were enough to give Germany a deserved 2-0 victory over Pakistan in the final of the Hero Hockey Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar, India. A sell-out crowd witnessed Germany claim their 10th Champions Trophy gold medal, but first since 2007.
Germany controlled the majority of the first quarter and could easily have been ahead in the opening five minutes, with Christopher Ruhr failing by a fraction to touch home a fierce cross into the circle before Florian Fuchs crashed a backhand shot wide of the right post after an impressive solo run.
The reigning Olympic champions continued to turn the screw in the second period and eventually were rewarded when Wesley touched home the opener from close range in the 18th minute, hot on the heels of a clear scoring opportunity wasted by Mathias Muller. Tobi Hauke also missed a glorious chance ahead of the half-time break.
Pakistan – looking to win the title for the first time since 1994 – were forced to defend deep for long stages of the third quarter, but fought their way back into the game and began to assert some serious pressure on the German circle. However, Germany’s defensive line – marshalled by imperious captain Moritz Furste – held firm to take a slender advantage into the final 15 minutes of the match.
The Greenshirts had a fantastic opportunity to equalise when Shafqat Rasool showed fine skills to create an opening, but his cross somehow failed to be picked up by two teammates in front of goal before Ruhr almost scored a magical solo goal for ahead of full time.
Nicolas Jacobi, the Germany goalkeeper, said: “The atmosphere here in Bhubaneswar was phenomenal. I won’t forget this. This was a lot of fun.
“This victory was a big team effort. We worked hard in every minute and always wanted to improve. This team is very young, but has a lot of potential.”
Hosts India miss out on medals
India, who lost 4-3 to neighbours Pakistan in the semi-finals, were unable to clinch bronze as they lost 2-1 to Australia. Matt Gohdes hit the winner eight minutes from time to give the Kookaburras their 28th Champions Trophy medal.
The Kookaburras had the better of the early exchanges, although India’s Akashdeep Singh threatened when he shot just wide of the target. Australia captain Eddie Ockenden gave his team the lead early in the second quarter with a cool finish from close range following a smart exchange of passes with Jacob Whetton.
India bounced back in typical fashion and created numerous chances, while goalkeeper PR Sreejesh produced some outstanding saves to deny the Aussies a second before half-time.
India then equalised when Lalit Upadhyay forced home a penalty corner from close range following some fine defending from the Australian back-line. The goal drew wild celebrations from the capacity crowd and set up a thrilling final quarter.
SV Sunil wasted a great chance for India before Gohdes produced a poachers’ finish to put the Kookaburras 2-1 ahead late on. India threw everything at their opponents in the final stages, but the Australian defence held firm to seal the bronze.
Hero Hockey Champions Trophy, Bhubaneswar, India
Player Award – Moritz Fuerste (GER)
Young Player Award – Akashdeep Singh (IND)
Goalkeeper Award – PR Sreejesh (IND)
Source: FIH (www.fih.ch); Editing by SportAsia