Bhubaneswar: Olympic champions Germany survived a spirited fightback to snap world champion Australia’s five-time title run by eking out a hard-fought 3-2 win and enter the summit clash of the Hero Champions Trophy hockey tournament here on Saturday.
After a not-so-impressive pool outing, the Germans produced their best hockey when it mattered most and ended Australia’s lengthy reign as Champions Trophy holders by knocking them out in a thrilling contest at the Kalinga Stadium here.
Australia managed to hold on to the Champions Trophy title since 2008. Germany had last won it in 2007.
Germany scored three field goals through Timur Oruz (5th minute), Mats Grambusch (9th) and Florian Fuchs (31st). For Australia Chris Ciriello (34th) and Nicholas Budgeon (42nd) converted two penalty corners in the third quarter.
The Germans started on a rousing note and raced to a two-goal lead inside the opening 10 minutes.
Oruz got the Germans off the block with a lovely feathered touch to a diagonal pass from Lukas Windfeder and then four minutes later Grambusch made it 2-0 after the ball bounced back to him following a failed clearance by the Kookaburras defence.
Grambusch’s powerful shot took a deflection off Fergus Kavanagh’s stick to give the Aussie goalkeeper Andrew Charter no chance of stopping the ball.
But Australia did not give up without a fight and came back strongly thereafter.
Jeremy Hayward came close when he shot wide from close range before German goalie Nicolas Jacobi made a brilliant diving save to deny Russell Ford.
German skipper Moritz Furste then made a superb save on the post from a penalty corner from Chris Ciriello to help his team go into the breather with a two-goal cushion.