Cologne: Olympic champions The Netherlands won the 24th Champions Trophy on Sunday by beating World Cup holders Germany 3-2 in a penalty shootout following the tournament’s first-ever goalless final.
The hero of the Dutch team was goalkeeper Guus Vogels who saved three German penalties, allowing Ronald Brouwer to win the game by converting the 10th and final penalty.
The Netherlands, who last won this world top-six event in Amstelveen two years ago, have now lifted the trophy six times in 24 years, a record only bettered by Germany (8) and Australia (7).
Earlier on Sunday, the Dutch learnt that they have been chosen to host the event next year.
In bright sunshine and before a capacity crowd of 6,000, Germany, who lost 2-5 to the Dutch in what was a dead pool match for them on Friday, were more dominant in the first half but failed to take their chances.
When the Dutch gained an edge in the second half, they too failed to profit. The sides know each other too well and that may account for the failure of either side to convert their corners.
Germany had four, the Dutch only two.
Young German Max Landshut had a good chance in the 15thminute of sudden death extra-time as he forced his way into the Dutch circle but shot wide. Then the Germans thought they had scored the golden goal as Dirk Michel appeared to get a touch into goal but umpire Ray O’Connor from Ireland ruled against him. The Germans have an impressive record in penalty competitions, especially against the Dutch, but they did not take them well on this occasion after Sascha Reinelt had converted the first of the shoot-out.Vogels then saved from Kunz, Witthaus and Crone.
The Netherlands did not fare any better at first, though Taeke Taekama converted their second and, crucially, Piet Geeris and Ronald Brouwer their last two. (Reuters)