Germany men fell to their first ever FIH Indoor World Cup defeat when host nation Poland produced a wonderful, determined performance to win the match 3-2 and march into the Semi Finals.
Dariusz RACHWALSKI was the hero for his team, netting two goals as his side established a 3-0 lead before a late German fight-back almost silenced the home crowd. However, it the twice defeated finalists (Leipzig 2003 / Vienna 2007) clung on to a famous victory which will give them real belief in their ability to win this tournament on home soil.
Germany are still very much in contention, but have been joined on nine points in the Pool table by The Netherlands, who recovered from their loss earlier in the day to battle past Australia 3-1 thanks to a first half hat-trick from Robert TIGGES.
In Pool B no less than four teams are still within touching distance of a place in the Semi Finals. England and Russia are tied at the top of the table with exactly the same points and goal difference, with both teams having an outstanding day at the office. England defeated Iran 6-4 thanks to two goals each from Richard and Simon MANTELL, while Russia produced a stunning performance to beat European champions Austria 1-0. England, Russia and Austria are joined in tomorrow’s fight for a semi final place by Czech Republic, who defeated USA to move within striking distance of the teams above them.
In the Women’s competition, The Netherlands and Germany are both virtually assured of places in the Semi Finals by recording key victories on Thursday. The Netherlands continued their fine form with a 3-0 win over Ukraine, moving three points clear at the top of Pool A and increasing their goal difference tally to an intimidating goal difference to +22. Ukraine, Czech Republic and Austria are all still mathematically capable of reaching Semi Finals.
Germany women defeated Belarus 2-0 in the top of Pool B clash, moving themselves three points clear of the chasing pack. Belarus, Poland and Australia can still make the Semi Finals, but are unlikely to overturn Germany’s staggering goal difference of +26.
With many Semi Final places still up for grabs, Friday’s action at the FIH Indoor World Cup has the potential to be truly memorable. For more information about all of the matches at the tournament as well as photos, player interview videos and official documents, please visit www.poznan2011.sportcentric.com .