x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Olympics: Germans get lucky break in men's hockey

Defending champions book final against Netherlands even as goalkeeper Max Weinhold plays with fractured hand against Australia.

Christopher Zeller, left, celebrates Germany's semi-final victory with Max Weinhold, the goalkeeper, who played the game with a broken hand. Lars Baron / Getty Images
Christopher Zeller, left, celebrates Germany's semi-final victory with Max Weinhold, the goalkeeper, who played the game with a broken hand. Lars Baron / Getty Images

Germany came from behind to defeat the world champions Australia 4-2 and reach the Olympic men's hockey final yesterday despite their goalkeeper Max Weinhold playing with a broken hand.

For the first two-thirds of the match Australia had often looked the better team, but a controversial disallowed goal fired up the defending Olympic champions who came back from 2-1 down to reach tomorrow's final, where they will meet the Netherlands, who routed Britain 9-2 in their semi-final.

Germany were obliged to their injured goalkeeper Weinhold, who had suffered the injury earlier in the tournament, for two courageous saves in the first half, both from penalty corners.

"It's always hard playing against Australia - the hand didn't make any difference," he said.

But he could not stop the Australians taking the lead when Glenn Turner found the net.

The lead lasted only three minutes though as Moritz Furste scored from a penalty corner.

Turner put the Australians ahead again after the restart, but the match turned when Germany were denied an equaliser for dangerous play after Oskar Deecke thought he had scored.

Oliver Korn's perceptive lofted pass was deftly controlled mid-air by Deecke and with a little aerial juggling, he nudged over the goalkeeper but the goal was ruled out.

Soon after Tobias Hauke split the Australian defence with a diagonal ball from the left, putting in Matthias Witthaus to equalise, and within a few minutes Germany had a two-goal lead.

First the Germans stopped play and asked for a video review which showed an Australian foot touching the ball inside the penalty area, and the resulting penalty corner brought a goal as Timo Weiss netted.

Florian Fuchs struck a fourth goal to complete the win.

"It was the kind of passionate game you need in a semi-final. There was some great hockey," said the Germany coach Markus Weise.

Elsewhere, the Dutch went goal crazy against Britain, with both Billy Bakker and Roderick Weusthof scoring hat-tricks.

Mink van der Weerden, Teun de Nooijer and Floris Evers completed the scoring.

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