Two-Time champion Germany chalked out stunning come from behind 4-3 penalty shootout victory, after drawing 2-2 in the dying minutes of the regular period, to setup a semi-final clash with three-time winner Australia in the Hockey World Cup here this evening.
In the last quarter finals, title contender the Netherlands scored a dominating 5—1 win over Korea The Dutchmen will face defending champion Belgium in other semi- final. Both the semifinals are scheduled for 27th January.
Earlier, despite their overall domination with a 2-0 lead till the 58th minute, England allowed four-time Olympic gold medalists Germany to sink in a double strike to send the third quarter final into the shootout.
The English could not hold their and had the ignominy of making their exit form this edition of the world cup with only themselves to blame, succumbing to a 3-4 defeat.
Well-structured England team who had made it to the last eight by topping the pool D which included India, Spain and Wales., looked all set to make their fourth back-to-back semi-final entry but the Honamas had reserved their canon fire for the fag end.
England opened on an aggressive note with fluent open play off the ball running and some exceptional 3D skills along the base line.
They controlled the central mid field with the veteran Phil Roper and skipper David Ames. The English forwards spearheaded by Sam Ward, Nicholas Bandurak and Zachary Wallace kept the Germans on tenterhooks.
The broke the ice in the 12th minute when Wallace beat German goalkeeper Alexander Stadler after being setup by Roper (1-0)
They doubled the lead three minutes into the second half with a set piece penalty corner buried by Wimbledon ‘s 29-year old Lam Ansell (2-0)
England continued to hold sway and attempting to further increase their lead but James Albery and David Goodfield were foiled in the danger area by German defenders by the former Argentine star and now naturalized German Gonzalo Peillat and Hannes Muller.
German coach Andre Henning strategized a switch to a tight press after removing goalkeeper Stadler in favoure of an extra outfield player. This tactic paid off as the Honamas earned a penalty stroke after England’s Wallace stick checked rival striker Niklas Wellen. The resultant stroke taken by Christopher Ruhr however struck the cross piece in the 56th minute.
The German continued their forays and as the English defence cracked along with the temporary suspension of Wallace giving them the numerical advantage.
Captain Mats Grambusch reduced the margin in the goalmouth melee with goalkeeper Olvier Payne caught on the wrong foot in the 58th minute (1-2). The very next minute the Germans earned another penalty corner which was successfully converted by the captain’s younger brother and Rot-Weiss Koln teammate Tom to draw stunning parity (2-2).
In the shootout, Niklas Wellen, Hannes Muller,Theis Prinz and Christoher Ruhr scored for Germany. James Albery, Zachary Wallace, Phil Roper scored for England while David Goodfield and Liam Anseell failed.
The second match witnessed Korea putting up a spirited fight against three-time champion the Netherlands in the first quarter.
However, the former champions breached the Korean defence in the 26th minute through Koen Bijen (1-0) four minutes later the Dutchmen forced another penalty corner
On a rebound, ball hit umpire Steijn van Heijningen face and he fell on the field wreathing with pain. Reserve umpire Raghu Prasad came in his place to officiate the reminder of the game.
After the half time the Dutch men slammed four more goals through Koen Bijen, Blok Justen., Stejin van Heijningen , and Teun Beins to complete the rout. Seo Inwoo reduced the margin for the losers.