BHUBANESWAR: Two-time champions Germany outclassed 2014 silver medallists Netherlands 4-1 in their Pool D match to inch closer towards booking a direct quarterfinal berth at the FIH Men’s hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.
Germany came back from a goal down and scored through Mathias Muller (30th minute), Lukas Windfeder (52nd), Marco Miltkau (54th) and Christopher Ruhr (58th) to register their second consecutive win in the pool.
Netherlands, however, took the early lead through Valentin Verga in the 13th minute.
By virtue of this win, Germany are atop Pool D with six points from two wins ahead of Netherlands, who are on three points.
Germany had earlier defeated Pakistan 1-0 in their opening match, while Netherlands had mauled Malaysia 7-0.
In the battle between world No 4 Netherlands and No 6 Germany, the Dutch were the early aggressors but the Germans came to the party as the match progressed.
Netherlands captain Billy Baker had the first real scoring opportunity in the eighth minute but his shot from a close range was brilliantly saved by German keeper Tobias Walter.
But the Netherlands, who were the better team at least in the first quarter, were not to be denied the lead as Verga broke the deadlock in the 13th minute, tapping in Mirco Pruijser’s reverse hit cross from close range.
The Germans got their first penalty corner seconds before the end of first quarter but were unlucky as Mathias Muller’s strike from a superb variation struck the post. Another Germany attempt, this time from Niklas Wellen’s reverse hit was saved by Dutch goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak.
Germany continued to press hard and, at the stroke of first quarter, secured back-to-back penalty corners, the second of which resulted in a beautiful goal by Muller from a superb, well-executed variation.
The Germans continued to be aggressive after the change of ends but it was Netherlands who got four penalty corners in a span of two minutes. However, they wasted all the opportunities.
The missed opportunities cost Netherlands dear as Germany scored from their fourth penalty corner with Windfeder finding the back of Dutch goal with a low grounded flick.