Germany on Sunday clinched their third men’s Hockey World Cup title after beating defending champions Belgium 5-4 in a shootout in Bhubaneshwar. Trailing 0-2 at the break, Germany scored three goals in the second half to take a 3-2 lead. However, Belgium equalised in the dying embers of normal time from a penalty corner. In the penalty shootout, Germany eventually prevailed 5-4.
Niklas Wellen (29th), Gonzalo Peillat (41st), and captain Mats Grambusch (48th) scored for Germany in the regulation time while Florent van Aubel Florent (10th), Tanguy Cosyns (11th) and Tom Boon (59th) found the target for Belgium.
This was the third time in the tournament that Germany had won after trailing 0-2 and their mental strength and never-say-die attitude came to the fore again as they denied the Belgians to defend their title.
The earlier two matches were against England in the quarterfinals and Australia in the semifinals.
Germany joined Australia and Netherlands to have clinched the World Cup title three times. Their earlier triumphs had come in 2002 and 2006. Only Pakistan has won the event four times.
A day before the summit clash, head coach Andre Henning had said that Germany have given massive focus on their defence but a two-minute Belgium blitzkrieg left them in a daze.
Van Aubel gave Belgium the lead in the 10th minute. The ball got a deflection and went up inside the German ‘D’. Aubel leaped in the air and smashed it down into the German goal.
Even before the packed crowd barely settled down after the first goal, Cosyns made it 2-0 as he got down on his knees and tapped in an Antoine Kina cross from the left.
Germany took a referral for a back stick but the video umpire ruled against them.
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