Hockey Olympic Qualifiers: Germany thrash Czech Republic 10-0, assured of semis spot

January 16, 2024
Soon after he walked off the turf after his team was held 1-1 by Japan in a Pool A match,

Ranchi (Jharkhand), Jan 16 (IANS) Soon after he walked off the turf after his team was held 1-1 by Japan in a Pool A match, Germany head coach Valentin Alterburg said his team would have to learn how to get the better of teams that pack the defence as they are going to face more such opponents in subsequent matches in the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers here.

However, having learnt their lessons from that match, Germany on Tuesday came up with a better plan to thrash the Czech Republic 10-0 at the Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Astro-Turf Hockey Stadium here on Tuesday. This is the biggest win by any team in this event, improving on Chile’s 6-0 win on Sunday. It is also the biggest-ever win at the Jaipal Singh Astro-Turf Hockey Stadium.

The script initially looked following Germany’s previous clash in which the 2018 Asian Games gold medallist Japan had put all their players behind the ball in the first half, defending stoutly to thwart them. Jude Menezes’ side went on the attack after Germany had scored a goal and not only levelled the score but also dominated the rest of the match, nearly scoring a winner.

So on Tuesday, when they were held goalless by the Czech Republic in the first quarter of their final Pool A league match despite dominating possession, creating many chances and bagging four penalty corners, Alterburg must have felt a sense of deja vu and dread of the script of the Japan clash unfolding once again.

Germany scored twice in the second quarter to lead 2-0 at the end of the first half and then went on a rampage in the third and fourth quarters to score eight goals and do a world of good to their goal difference.

Sonja Zimmermann scored three goals, two off them through penalty strokes, in the 42nd, 46th and 52nd minutes, the first one a field goal from a fine attack. Charlotte Stapenhorst (19th and 43rd min) and Jette Fleschütz (22nd and 4th min) scored a brace of goals each while skipper Nike Lorenz (39th min), Pauline Heinz (55th min) and Selin Oruz (55th min) contributed a goal each and the Germans enjoyed a goal fest.

In all, Germany bagged more than a dozen penalty corners, a couple of them resulting in penalty strokes, and scored two goals off PCs and three off PSs.

The win propelled Germany to the top of the standings in Pool A with seven points from three matches (two wins, one draw) and assured themselves a place in the semifinals. The second qualifying spot from this group will be decided by the outcome of the match between Chile and Japan, with a win or a draw taking Japan into the semis.



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