Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Germany needed a victory with at least eight goals in their Pool B game of the FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 to overtake Belgium & claim the top spot to gain direct entry into the quarterfinals. However, they could manage only a 7-2 victory over Korea at the Birsa Munda Stadium in Rourkela on Friday.

Germany started well by scoring in the second minute of the game through Niklas Wellen. But, Korea pulled a goal back to keep the scores level by the end of the first quarter. In-form Wellen gave Germany their lead back before their half-time. 

The second half started frantically as both teams traded end to end counter-attacks. Wellen increased the German lead completing his hat-trick in the 41st minute. Gonzalo Peillat added another for the Honamas in the 43rd minute by converting their sixth penalty corner. 

The fourth and the final quarter saw Germany scoring thrice in the first seven minutes. However, Korea retreated into their defence as Germany's attempts at overtaking Belgium fell narrowly short. Korea struck their second goal in the final minute by converting a penalty corner. 

Niklas Wellen was awarded player of the match for his splendid hat-trick.

“We knew how many goals we needed to finish top in the group, and we fell short by a couple of goals. But, two victories and a draw from the three pool-stage matches is a very good result for us on the whole,” said Wellen.