Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dutch fall but advance to last-four

At the Hero Honda FIH World Cup 2010 in Delhi, Germany topped Pool A by beating New Zealand (5-2) while The Netherlands fell to Korea (1-2). The semi-finals will oppose Germany to England, and Australia to the Netherlands.

At the beginning of the last day of pool play, everything could still happen in pool A with four teams (Netherlands, Germany, Korea and New Zealand) still mathematically able to earn a semi-final berth depending on the combination of results!

Game 28 – Germany v. New Zealand: 5-2 (half-time: 2-0)

Germany, reigning World Cup holders, needed to win against New Zealand to automatically qualify without having to rely on the result of the following match between The Netherlands and Korea. They immediately pushed forward and created a number of chances for Moritz FÜRSTE and Philip WITTE before Christoph MENKE opened the scoring, deflecting high in the goal roof a perfect cross from Florian FUCHS.

Match facts (Germany v. New Zealand):
> Germany qualified for the semi-finals for a record 11th time.
> Germany only failed to reach the semi-finals at Barcelona 1971.
> New Zealand now play in the Final 7-8 against India, unless Argentina beat Canada. In that case New Zealand play in the Final 9-10 against South Africa.
> The Black Sticks have never finished lower than 10th in the World Cup competition.
> New Zealand’s best finish in the competition is seventh place, which they achieved in Amstelveen 1973, Kuala Lumpur 1975 and Bombay 1982.
> Florian Fuchs is Germany’s leading goal scorer this tournament with 4 goals.
> Germany are reigning Olympic champions and two time defending world champions and are making a bid to become the first nation to win the FIH World Cup three times in a row.

Game 29 – Netherlands v. Korea: 1-2 (half-time: 1-1)

With everybody busy trying to figure out what the various possibilities of results in this game would produce in the standings, The Netherlands offered a beginning of answer by scoring within 30 seconds of play by Ronald BROUWER, brilliantly set-up by Teun DE NOOIJER. Korea reacted with their traditional quick passes and speedy runs, but they could not shake or penetrate the steady Dutch defense.

Match Facts (Netherlands v. Korea):
> The Dutch have now reached the WC semi-finals for the 8th time, and for the first time since 2002, when they lost 4-1 to Australia in the semi-finals.
> The Dutch finish second in Pool A to take on Australia in the semi-finals, whereas Germany play England.
> Germany are the only teams still unbeaten after the Pool matches.
> Ronald Brouwer ‘s (NED) opening goal after 25 seconds is the fastest goal scored at Delhi 2010.
> Mark Pearson (CAN 33 seconds vs. NZL) and Phillip Burrows (NZL 39 seconds vs. NED) also scored in the first minute this tournament.
> However, all three teams that scored a first minute goal at Delhi 2010 ended up losing the match.
> Nam Hyun-Woo (KOR) scored his 4th PC goal this tournament. Only Taeke Taekema (NED) and Luke Doerner (AUS) have scored more PC goals at Delhi 2010.
> Korea will take on Spain in the Final 5-6. This is the first time they play in a fifth place play-off.
> In the last two World Cups (2002 and 2006) Korea came fourth.
> In 1994 and 1998 Korea reached the Final 7-8, losing on penalty strokes to Argentina in 1994 and beating Canada in 1998.

Game 30 – Canada v. Argentina: 2-4 (half-time: 0-1)

The final game of pool play pitted the two arch-rivals from the Americas, usually opposed in Pan American competitions (it will be their first encounter in a World Cup). Canada edged Argentina in dramatic fashion in the last two major competitions (2007 Pan American Games and 2009 Pan American Cup) and Argentina, playing well here in Delhi, were no doubt eager to avenge these two defeats.

Match facts (Canada v. Argentina):
> Argentina qualified for the Final 7-8. Their win over Canada made them finish fourth in Pool A, beating New Zealand on goal difference.
> Argentina now play India for 7th place.
> In 1978 and 1994 Argentina also played in the 7th place play-off, losing to England in 1978 to finish 8th and beating Korea on penalty strokes in 1994 to finish 7th.
> Argentina’s best World Cup ranking is 6th in 1986 and 2002. In 2006 Argentina finished 10th.
> New Zealand play South Africa in the Final 9-10 and Canada play Pakistan for 11th place.
> Canada finished the pool standings on zero points. They are the first team since Belgium and Cuba in 2002 to lose all their World Cup pool matches..

Results Day 10 - Tuesday 9 March 2010

Germany v. New Zealand 5:2 (2:0)
GER 15mn Christoph MENKE (FG) 1:0
GER 28mn Florian FUCHS (PC) 2:0
GER 47mn Philip WITTE (FG) 3:0
NZL 51mn Shea MCALEESE (PC) 3:1
NZL 54mn Nicholas WILSON (FG) 3:2
GER 63mn Moritz FÜRSTE (PC) 4:2
GER 64mn Matthias WITTHAUS (PC) 5:2

Netherlands v. Korea 1:2 (1:1)
NED 1mn Ronald BROUWER (FG) 1:0
KOR 31mn Hyun Woo NAM (PC) 1:1
KOR 45mn Jong Ho SEO (FG) 1:2

Canada v. Argentina 2:4 (0:1)
ARG 29mn Lucas Martin VILA (PC) 0:1
ARG 43mn Matias Enrique PAREDES (FG) 0:2
ARG 56mn Mario ALMADA (FG) 0:3
CAN 60mn Scott TUPPER (PC) 1:3
CAN 65mn David JAMESON (FG) 2:3

Pool Standings:
Pool A: 1) Germany 11 pts 2) Netherlands 10 pts (+10) 3) Korea 10pts (+8) 4) Argentina 6 pts (-2) 5) New Zealand 6 pts (-4) 6) Canada 0 pt
Pool B: 1) Australia 12 pts (+17) 2) England 12 pts (+5) 3) Spain 9 pts 4) India 4 pts (-4) 5) South Africa 4 pts (-15) 6) Pakistan 3 pts

Schedule for last three days:

Thursday 12 March
15:35 – 11th-12th – Canada v. Pakistan
18:05 – semi-final – Germany v. England
20:35 – semi-final – Australia v. Netherlands

Friday 12 March
15:35 – 9th-10th – New Zealand v. South Africa
18:05 – 7th-8th – Argentina v. India
20:35 – 5th-6th – Korea v. Spain

Saturday 13 march
15:35 – 3rd-4th
18:05 – Final