INDIA: Germany advanced to its fifth World Cup final on Friday with a 4-3 win over Australia, avenging its Tokyo Olympics defeat.
The Germans, known for their reputation as the most dangerous side in world hockey, secured the victory with six seconds left on the clock.
A free hit from near the half-line by Mathias Muller, a dead stop by Gonzalo Peillat on the backline, and a desperate dive by Niklas Wellen through the smallest of spaces proved instrumental for the winning goal.
The win marks the first time Germany has advanced to the World Cup final since 2010.
Despite Australia taking a 2-0 lead at halftime with goals in the first two quarters, Germany ultimately proved to be the better team.
The Germans had three penalty corners cancelled after Australian referrals and a stroke in the 3rd quarter, but still managed to have an impressive 13 penalty corners throughout the game, showing their dominance in the front and exposing the shaky Australian defence.
Germany had more possession but struggled with final connections and wayward flicks in the first half.
Christopher Ruhr, Niklas Wellen, Marco Miltkau, and captain Mats Grambusch worked tirelessly to control the midfield and build moves from the flanks but could not find the final touch.
However, they remained patient and kept their structure, eventually breaking through the Australian defence.
The Aussies, usually known for creating their own opportunities, relied more on counter-attacks. With the game evenly balanced between the two teams in the first 20 minutes, Germany took control and dominated the game in the later stages.
Argentine-turned-German drag-flicker Gonzalo Peillat, who had been under scrutiny for his lack of effectiveness, picked the perfect game to come into form and scored a hat-trick.
Peillat was also instrumental in defence and often found himself high up inside the Australian circle to assist with scoring. His final pass from the backline set up the winning goal for Wellen and secured Germany’s spot in the final.
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