It was a match that undoubtedly would be a great advertisement for the sport of hockey. How do you master the art of ‘clawing your way back and stealing a win from the opponents when they are on the doorstep of victory’? Andre Henning-coached Germany have done it in two consecutive games in the 15th World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar.
If the Grambusch brothers (Mats & Tom) along with Jean-Paul Danneberg (shootout heroics) came into play in the quarterfinal and shunted England out of the World Cup, this time around the combo of Gonzallo Peillat and Niklas Wellen came to the party in much in the same fashion as they did against England – scoring twice in final two minutes to propel Germany into the final – their first since the 2010 World Cup.
It may be worth recalling that Germany haven’t been quite able to hit the winning ways in recent years – best exemplified by the fact that this is the first win over Australia in nine years – their last came at the 2014 Champions Trophy. And it was Germany, who build considerable amount of pressure on the Aussie defence but it was lattr who walked into a half-time break with a cosy 2-0 lead riding on goals from Jeremy Hayward and Nathan Ephraums.
The Honamas choose the closing moments of the third quarter to mount their fightback – Gonzallo Peillat, who shifted loyalty to Germany from Argentina, fired home a penalty corner to keep his side’s alive going into th final quarter, where he again profited from a shortie to dramatically change the course of the game.
The Kookaburras riposte was firm – Blake Govers slammed home a short corner to regain the lead with just two minutes left – like the England quarterfinal, Germany brought out their best on the pitch – Gonzallo Peillat capped of a fabulous hat-trick (his third hat-trick in the World Cup) and the match appeared to be heading into a shootout much like the England quarterfinal, Niklas Wellen, who is enjoying fatherhood bliss at the World Cup (became a father during the marquee event), did want their fate to be decided via a shootout and scored in the closing seconds to orchestrate a memorable Germany entry into the final.
This was Germany’s 47th victory over Australia in 110 international meet-ups.