Germany end Dutch hopes in hockey final

Last updated 10:06 12/08/2012
Germany
Reuters

GOLD: Germany's team players celebrate winning against Netherlands during their men's gold medal hockey match.

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Germany successfully defended its Olympic men's field hockey title by beating the Netherlands 2-1 on Saturday, ruining hopes of a Dutch golden double.

Jan Philipp Rabente scored two remarkable goals, a brilliant solo opener in the 33rd minute and the winner after running around behind the net with five minutes to go.

''The first one was phenomenal, unbelievable,'' teammate Chris Zeller said.

''A solo run from Rabi. The second one came just at the right time so we just had to defend for five more minutes. It was good because pressure from the Dutch was immense.''

Mink van der Weerden equalized for the Dutch in the 53rd with his tournament-best eighth goal.

The Dutch had hoped to pull off the first Olympic double after their women beat Argentina 2-0 on Friday.

Instead, the German men emulated the Dutch women: Both repeated as champions in London, including 10 of the men.

The Germans' fourth gold left them behind only eight-time champion India.Coach Markus Weise earned his third successive gold after leading the Germany women in 2004 and the men in Beijing and here.

The Dutch should have finished off the final by halftime. Germany goalkeeper Max Weinhold was the chief reason they didn't. He was called upon within minutes, saving a Rogier Hofman effort and then sticking out his left knee to block a backhand shot by Billy Bakker.

When the Netherlands had the only penalty corner of the half in the 29th, Philipp Zeller blocked German marksman Moritz Fuerste's initial flick and Weinhold killed Robbert Kemperman's rebound attempt.

Weinhold wasn't impressed when, after tackling Dutch captain Floris Evers, Evers gave him a parting push of his head.

But his mood improved three minutes later, two minutes before the break, when midfielder Rabente ran around Sander Baart into the circle, ran away from Robert van der Horst and slashed a goal between two defenders and past goalie Jaap Stockmann.The Dutch couldn't take their chances after the break either.

Roderick Weusthof's pass to Valentin Verga went through his legs, and Wouter Jolie was blocked. Chris Zeller almost made it 2-0 when he hit the right post with a rasping shot.

Van der Weerden's first penalty corner was blocked by Martin Haener but with his immediate second chance he scored from a rocket that sent Germany captain Max Mueller ducking for cover on the goal-line. Van der Weerden scored in all seven matches.

Germany earned its first penalty corner soon after in the 56th but Stockmann saved Haener with his glove. Stockmann then saved from Thilo Stralkowski and Jolie, but Van der Weerden then conceded a penalty corner to the Germans, only for Zeller to hit the back of Jolie.

With five minutes to go, Rabente shot and thought he'd scored, and kept running around behind the net from the left side. But Stockmann stopped the shot and the ball was cleared, only for Florian Fuchs to fire it back in.

Benjamin Wess gave it a nudge back toward the goal and Rabente came around from behind the goal on the right post to steer it in.

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After fulltime, the Germans fell over themselves, laughing and tearing up. When they finally gathered themselves in front of their bench, they danced and sang.

Meanwhile, the Dutch stood around in disbelief while Hofman, sat on the field, head bowed in his circle for a long time.

- Reuters

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