Cologne: Olympic champions The Netherlands will meet Germany in Sunday’s Champions Trophy final after inflicting a 5-2 defeat on the hosts in their final pool match on Friday.
It was their biggest win over their great rivals since 1981 and the biggest margin between the teams since Germany won 5-1 in a World Cup pool match in 1998.
In another match, a below par India went down 2-4 to South Korea in the last league match of the Champions Trophy hockey tournament Friday.
The Indians finished with seven points from their league encounters with two wins, two losses and a draw and will now play Pakistan in a play-off for the third place.
Korea went into the lead in the 24th minute when Kyo Shin Seok converted their second penalty corner.
A minute later, the Koreans earned a penalty stroke when Kanwaljit Singh failed to stop a short corner cleanly. The stroke was converted by Ha Jong Jeon with a flick to the left of goalkeeper Devesh Chauhan.
Five minutes after the breather, India cut the lead when Dhanraj Pillay picked up a stray ball in the circle and drove it past the Korean goalkeeper Lim Jong Chun.
But Korea went 3-1 up in the 51st minute against the run of play. Devesh Chauhan saved a shot but then took his eyes off the rebound. A lose ball was picked up by Hyun Jong Hwang who shot it between the ’keeper and Vikram Pillay.
With just three minutes left in the match, Korea earned their eighth penalty corner. The flick was saved by Chauhan but the rebound was shot in by Seok Kyung Kim.
Aussies lose all five
World Cup silver medallist Australia’s disastrous run continued as they crashed to their fifth consecutive defeat, losing 0-2 to Pakistan in their last league match on Friday. Australia now play-off for 5th-6th position with either South Korea or Pakistan.
The Dutch victory ended Germany’s run of four successive wins by the odd goal in the six-team tournament and meant they finished above the 2002 World Cup winners by a point in the round-robin standings and with a considerably better goal difference.
An own goal from Timo Wess gifted The Netherlands a 14th minute lead but the hosts, who had already secured their place in the final, hit back to lead with penalty corner goals from Bjorn Emmerling and skipper Florian Kunz.
Ronald Brouwer won a penalty stroke which was converted by Bram Lomans for the equaliser and the Dutch went ahead in the 47th minute with a Taeke Taekama corner flick, his seventh goal of the tournament.
Germany had three good chances to level in the next 10 minutes but the game was settled by a brilliant chip shot by Maarten Froger. Within a minute, Ronald Brouwer added a solo goal.