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Rediff.com  » Sports » Korean scare for champions Germany at World Cup

Korean scare for champions Germany at World Cup

March 01, 2010 20:58 IST

Defending champions Germany showed their never-say-die attitude as they made a remarkable comeback from a two-goal deficit to hold an impressive South Korea 2-2 in a thrilling hockey World Cup match at Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Monday.

The Germans, who were gunning for a hat-trick of titles after their 2002 and 2006 triumphs, were trailing 0-2 at the breather via goals from South Koreans Hye Sung Hyun (3rd minute) and Nam Yong Lee (15th) in the Pool A match.

However, Florian Fuchs (50th) and Benjamin Wess (58th) scored a goal each in the space of eight minutes to save the blushes for the Germans, who are also the reigning Olympic champions as well as number one in FIH rankings.

The Koreans, ranked fifth in the world, would also held their heads high after the performance. They had beaten the Germans 5-3 in their last meeting in the Champions Trophy in Melbourne last year.

In the two meetings they had in the World Cup, Germany had won the semifinal in 2002 while it was a goal-less draw in a pool match in 2006.

Germany made the first attacking move and earned a penalty corner in the second minute itself but failed to score.

Next minute, the nippy South Koreans seized the initiative as they opened scoring through a powerful drag flick by Hye Sung Hyun, which left German goalkeeper Max Weinhold with no chance to react.

Nam Yong Lee made it 2-0 by scoring probably the best goal of the tournament so far with a spectacular reverse shot from top of the striking circle from an acute angle and the German goalkeeper who was out of position failed to reach for the ball.

Germany, who have as many nine players from the gold-winning team of Beijing Olympics, made several onslaughts on the Korean goalpost.

The Koreans defended their citadel well and relied on quick counter attacks with Lee Nam Yong and Yoon Sung Hoon breaking through the German defence on many occasions.

The Korean goalkeeper Lee Myung Ho was also superb at the goal, making some fine saves.

In the 23rd minute, Myung Ho blocked Martin Haner's shot off Germany's second penalty corner and again denied the same player off the rebound.

After the breather, the Germans tried to force the pace of the game looking for goals. But, Korea played deeper and kept more men at the defence and relied on counter-attacks.

The incessant pressure paid off with Fuchs scoring in the 50th minute, deflecting a Moritz Furste hit from outside the striking circle into the goal. The Koreans appealed against the goal but the video umpire upheld the decision of the referee.

In the 58th minute, Wess struck to give the finishing touches to a Matthias Witthaus push, which beat the goalkeeper.

Germany play Canada in their second match on March 3 while Korea take on Argentina on the same day.

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