Monday, December 11, 2023

Gold to Germany at the Riverbank Arena Olympic hockey test event

Germany 5
Tobias Matania (FG, 22)
Thilo Stralkowski (FG, 33)
Florian Fuchs (PC, 37)
Mathias Witthaus (FG, 61)
Philipp Zeller (PS, 68)
Australia 2
Chris Ciriello (PC, 18)
Matt Gohdes (PS, 57)

[img_assist|nid=3790|title=First blood in the Olympic hockey stadium|desc=Max Muller – preparing for London|link=node|align=left|width=180|height=255]Germany won the London Visa International Invitational hockey tournament with a slick 5-2 win over the world’s top ranked side Australia.

A well organised German side rode the early Australian charge conceding only once – a powerful Chris Ciriello corner – although Australia had a penalty stroke goal overturned on video review. Simon Orchard’s stroke was clearly dragged – so glad someone is FINALLY picking up on this!

After that, Germany strode to a 2-1 lead by half time, scored a fine deflected corner from Florain Fuchs early in the second half and looked pretty well in control.

See the gallery for more images.

Statistics showed Australia had far more shots in the game, but with Nicolas Jacobi in good form between the posts and the German cover defence – notably Timo Wess – quick to close down, the Kookaburras created a number of low-quality opportunites. Two of Germany’s goals came from tap ins (Stralkowski and Witthaus) so completely did the Germans pick apart the Kookaburras defence.

Looking forward to London, Germany are in fine form now, but it is form in July that counts. Australia were minus the redoubtable Jamie Dwyer who would surely have buried some of those first half chances. However there is no doubt these two are the teams to beat in world hockey and they may well meet again in the Olympic final. 

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