12.06.2015, Brussels: Germany beat Korea and The Netherlands overcame Spain in the quarter finals of the World Hockey League.
Germany are the first team to make the top four at the Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires. The Olympic champions won their quarter-final 2-0 against Korea. and will now play off in Saturday’s semi-final where they face the winner of Netherlands v Spain.
The Olympic champions forced two early penalty corners but were unable to capitalize. The Germans had more ball possession throughout the first quarter and came close to scoring when Mats Grambusch (13’) hit the post after good work from Florian Fuchs.
Korea were limited to counter-attacks as Germany dominated possession for long phases of the second quarter. Despite being the better side, the Olympic champions were unable to break through the Korean defence. The halftime score was tied at 0-0.
Germany eventually took the lead in the third quarter with Niklas Wellen (38’) slotting home after great work from Mathias Müller. Captain Moritz Fürste (45’) doubled the lead with his penalty corner goal at quarter time.
The fourth quarter saw Korea winning their second penalty corner but the shot was blocked by a German runner. Korea fought hard to get on the scoreboard but the German goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi kept a clean sheet.
Moritz Fürste (GER)
“We were a bit nervous. The pressure was high and it was obvious that we won’t win this match in the first ten minutes. We could have scored more goals. After the 2-0 it was important that we continue to play very concentrated.”
Lee Seungil (KOR)
“This was a tough match. The first half was very good but then we made two mistakes. Now we need to play off for the fifth place.”
Constantijn Jonker tackeld by Quico Cortes (GK)
The Netherlands join Germany in Saturday’s semi-final following their 3-1 win against Spain. The Dutch got on the scoreboard early with a goal by Seve van Ass (7’). The ball got caught under the Spanish goalie Quico Cortes’ feet and was muddled across the line.
Mink van der Weerden (28’) added another goal towards the end of the second quarter when his penalty corner flick found the back of the net. Spain went into the third quarter playing with more intensity and the confidence to score. Despite creating several chances, they were unable to defeat the strong Dutch goalie Jaap Stockmann.
Jeroen Hertzberger could have increased the Dutch lead to 3-0 but his penalty stroke was nicely saved by Cortes, which kept the Red Sticks in the game. Spain eventually got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter when top scorer Pau Quemada (46’) netted with an upright reverse-stick side shot.
The last quarter was emotional, as Spain needed to equalise. The Netherlands came up with a few counter-attacks and managed to seal the victory with Valentin Verga (58’) scoring with two minutes remaining.
Thoughts on the match
Mink van der Weerden (NED)
“We had good control of the match and played quite ok. It was far from our best game and it took us time to put this into goals. We got a goal against out of nothing and this made the game exciting again.”
Manel Terraza (ESP)
“I think we played a very good second half. We pushed very well but obviously this was not enough. We haven’t done enough to win this game but there is still a chance to go to the Olympics, so we need to keep on working.
Austria were unlucky to lose to Egypt and will now play for 7th/8th slot tomorrow.
Source material: FIH.CH
Photographs: Frank Uijlenbroek (c)