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Draw against Germany was expected: Nooijer

Source: PTI
March 08, 2010 09:27 IST
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For Netherlands captain Tuen de Nooijer the 2-2 draw against arch-rivals Germany in a crucial pool A match of the hockey World Cup on Sunday was an expected result since the history of the clashes between the two hockey powerhouses has more often produced the same result.

Nooijer said as expected the encounter was a hard-fought and there was hardly any difference between the two sides.

"It was an expected draw for me because all our matches against Germany happen to end on 2-2," he said.

"In the first half we played well but in the second half they were the better side," Nooijer said.

Even coach Michel van den Heuvel agreed with his skipper, saying, "It was a tough battle. 80 per cent of our matches against Germany end in draws.

"Both the teams played well in phases but I am happy with my team's fighting spirit. Down 2-1, they did not give up and scored the all-important equaliser in the final minutes," Huevel said.

Some of the Dutch players belonging to Rotterdam on Sunday wore a black armband to pay respect to former president of H C Rotterdam Jan Hagendijh, who passed away two days back.

Meanwhile, German captain Maximillian Muller said irrespective of the draw, his side is in a better position to qualify for the semi-finals from the keenly contested Pool A.

"We played very well today. We are looking forward to playing same good hockey against Korea on Tuesday. Although, New Zealand, Korea are still there, I think we are in a good position to make it to the semi-finals," he said.

"It was a close match. I think may be we finally deserved to be on the winning side," Muller added.

German coach Markus Weise said his young team has displayed their best hockey of the World Cup against the formidable Dutch.

"I am very happy with the performance. It was our best game of the tournament so far but I am not sure whether we deserve to win or not," he said.

"Our goal is to reach the semi-finals which is not certain. We will have to win against New Zealand. But if it comes to goal difference, Korea would be lucky as they have scored more goals than us," Weise added.

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