A convincing 6-1 victory over New Zealand and a promise from coach Markus Weise that "we still want to improve", sent a clear message to the competition of Germany's credentials at the World Hockey League in Delhi this morning (NZT).
Alex Shaw summed up the Black Stick's feelings: "Days like this are hard. Germany took all their chances and we didn't. We knew it was going to be tough, but they played very well."
Germany's Christopher Wesley scored the opening goal with less than 20 seconds played, but the Blacksticks were not rocked and equalised through a penalty corner goal from Kane Russell (5').
Thilo Stralkowski (11') then netted from the Germans' first penalty corner to re-take the lead and gradually the Olympic champions took control of the match, taking a 3-1 lead into halftime after Florian Fuchs (31') put Germany's third past the Blacksticks' net.
The second half saw Germany run rampant. In a five-minute spell they extended their lead by a further three goals. Stralkowski (44') added a penalty corner goal, one minute later Tobias Hauke (45') scored from open play to make it 5-1, then Jan-Philipp Rabente (48') put his name on the score sheet.
Despite a noisy crowd urging the host nation on, India failed to capitalise on possession and opportunities, going down 2-0 to England in the second Pool A match.
In tomorrow's Pool A matches England will face Germany, and India will play New Zealand.
- © Fairfax NZ News