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Rediff.com  » Sports » Champions hockey: Germany hand Australia first defeat

Champions hockey: Germany hand Australia first defeat

December 03, 2009 19:37 IST

World and Olympic champions Germany produced an outstanding first half performance to shock defending champions and unbeaten Australia 3-1 in the fourth round of matches in the Champions Trophy men's hockey tournament in Melbourne on Thursday.

In other matches of the day's programme, Korea and Spain played out a thrilling 5-5 draw, while The Netherlands defeated England 3-2, the Dutch extracting revenge for their defeat to the Englishmen in the final of the Euro Nations Championships earlier in the year.

Despite their first defeat in the tournament, the Aussies head the six-team table, but are level with Germany on nine points going into Saturday's final round of the group stage.

South Korea are placed third with seven points, while the Dutch, with six points, are fourth. Spain (2) and England (1) occupy the last two rungs.

The top two teams from the group stage contest Sunday's final.

Australia could have sealed their place in the final with a fourth straight victory, but three goals within eight minutes by Jan-Marco Montag (24th minute), Matthias Witthaus (27th) and Christopher Wesley (31st) put paid to their aspirations. Their only goal came in the 53rd minute, through Luke Doerner.

Earlier, the Melbourne crowd was treated to the highest scoring game of the tournament as Korea rallied from 1-5 down to secure a 5-5 draw against Spain.

A hat-trick by Pau Quemad put the Spaniards high in the saddle, but penalty-corner expert Nam Hyun Woo scored one of the quickest hat-tricks in Champions Trophy history as Korea staged a remarkable recovery.

The result kept Korea in the reckoning for a berth in Sunday's final, while the draw ended Spain's dream of making it.

In the day's second match, 19-year-old Robbert Kemperman scored twice for the Dutch in the victory over England while Rob Reckers got their other goal.

England got their goals through Richard Mantell and Richard Smith.