Germany win group B

[img_assist|nid=8244|title=Rabobank World League semi final|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=125|height=125]GROUP B

India – Germany 1-7 (0-3 halftime)

Germany sealed first place in Group B at the Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Finals after earning their third straight win of the event. The Germans had little difficulty with India, netting the 7-1 victory.

Germany will play Chile in Tuesday’s quarterfinal game – one that could have major implications in the 2014 World Cup Qualification. The top three teams from this Semi-Final tournament will be automatically qualified for the World Cup in The Hague. Additional teams may also make the cut later in the season, depending on how the Continental Championships pan out. But making the top four in this event is a major step towards going to the World Cup.

The Germans owned a 3-0 lead by the end of the first half on the strength of goals from Maike Stöckel Müller and Janne Müller-Wieland and Marie Mavers. Mavers goal was an amazing last-second knock in and was truly a knock-out blow for the Indians with one second remaining in the half.

Germany continued to roll in the second half, pouring in another three goals in a 10-minute span. Stöckel scored her second of the game in the 44th minute. Jennifer Plass and Lydia Haase followed suite giving the Germans a solid 6-1 lead. The bonus goal came three minutes before the end of the game as Hannah Krüger put in a penalty corner goal to bring the final to a lopsided 7-1.

Germany has tomorrow off before the key quarterfinal game against Chile. Meanwhile, India will likely finish in last place in the group and will have a tough test against either Korea or the Netherlands in Tuesday’s quarterfinal.

New Zealand – Belgium 4-2 (3-0 halftime)

New Zealand sealed up second place in Group B after a clear 4-2 win over Belgium. The win means that the Black Sticks will meet Japan in Tuesday’s quarterfinal. The loss gives Belgium third place in the group.

New Zealand was clearly the better team in the meeting, but it took them awhile to find their scoring touch. But once they broke the silence, the floodgates opened as they poured in three goals in an eight minute span.

The goals came in wide array of forms. Krystal Forgesson scored the key first goal in the 21st minutes with a deflection effort. Captain Kayla Sharland doubled the lead when New Zealand was awarded a penalty stroke after the ball went into the goal off of a player’s foot. Rounding out the eight-minute flurry was Gemma Flynn with a penalty corner deflection. The 3-0 lead stood at the break.

New Zealand picked up right where they left off in the second half, scoring the 4-0 goal just three minutes into the half with a Katie Glynn penalty corner flick. After the goal, New Zealand eased up a bit assured in the knowledge that they had most likely clinched second place in the group.

Belgium snuck into the game a bit with 18 minutes left when Louise Versavel scored a point blank goal to pull Belgium to within three. A second goal came on a nice fake with three minutes left in the game to cut the lead in half. The goals served mostly window dressing in the final scoreline as New Zealand was far too strong for Belgium to consider a comeback.