Germany stages grand comeback, holds Holland 2-2
Monchengladbach, Sep 9 (UNI) A fantastic come-from-behind rally saw defending champion Germany wipe out the two-goal defecit in a space of six minutes to share points with arch-rivals Holland in a thrilling 2-2 draw in the hockey World Cup league match here today.
With this draw, both the teams kept alive their hopes for semifinal berths.
The 12,000 capacity crowd at the Warsteiner Park was treated to highest level of hockey as the teams battled out for supremacy over each other.
It turned out to be an edge-of-the-seat contest with both the teams attacking each other with clinical precision.
Champions Trophy winners Holland dominated the proceedings in the first session but the Germans, backed by massive home crowd, held their ground and foiled most of the Dutch attacks.
All the four goals came in the space of 17 minutes of the second session in this 70-minute thriller.
For Holland, Ronal Brouwer (37th) and Rob Reckers (42nd) scored a goal each, while for the hosts Christopher Zeller (48th) and Maritz Fuerste (54th) reduced the lead and drew parity, respectively.
It was the best match of the World Cup so far with veteran Teun de Noojier leading the attack for the Dutch and Bjoern Emmerling leading the German charge.
There was never a dull moment as the ball moved from one end to other at a lightning speed.
Holland, who started their campaign disastrously losing to Korea 1-3 in the opener, gave heart-warming display of fast and attacking hockey and their rivals were also not found wanting.
Twice in the early stages of the game,Germany goal survived a scare as de Noojier's efforts went were aborted by his teammates' inability to convert the opening.
German goalkeeper Ulrich Bubolz also brought off some superb saves.
The German fans were in for a shock as in the second session Holland scored two goals in a lightning speed.
Two minutes in to the second session, Rob Reckers moved up and sent the ball to de Noojier who set up Ronal Brouwer in the circle and the striker made no mistake in sending the ball home(1-0).
Five minutes later it became 2-0 for Holand when Rob Reckers darted past couple of defenders and sent the ball home with a reverse flick (2-0).
Undeterred by the reverses, the Germans fought back magnificiently and reduced the margin in the 48th minute when Christopher Zeller scored with a powerful drag-flick and six minutes later, Tibor Weissenbor set up Mortiz Fuerste who, with a superb flick, send the ball home (2-2) as the whole stadium erupted in joy.
Both teams fought hard in the remaining 13 minutes but could not score any more.
Germany now have four points from two outings while Holland have four from three.
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