Monday January 30, 2023

Korea beat Argentina to reach FIH WC quarters

By Our Correspondent
January 25, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Korea stunned Argentina 5-5(3-2) in a penalty shootout to become the only Asian team to make it to the quarter-finals of the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup following the final crossover matches in the Indian city of Bhubaneswar.

Germany and Korea seal their quarter-final berths with wins over France and Argentina respectively. Germany will now take on England in the quarter-finals, while Korea will face the Netherlands, with both matches to be played in Bhubaneswar.

France and Argentina head into the 9-16 classification matches, which will take place in Rourkela. The shootout capped off a great comeback for Korea as keeper Jaehyeon Kim saved attempts by Domene and Toscani, and kept Ferreiro out long enough for the 8 seconds to run out, while Korea scored 3 out of their 4 attempts to become the only Asian team to qualify for the quarter-finals where they will now face Netherlands.

Jang Jonghyun was awarded player of the match and said: “We are really happy as a team to get this win, and we are going to try to go even better in the quarter-finals.”

Germany blew the doors open in the second quarter against France scoring thrice to take a huge lead into the halftime break.

Their first goal of the second quarter came via a brilliant counter attacking move started by Hinrichs that allowed Germany to go 2 on 1 in the French circle and while the pass to Wellen was initially intercepted by Thieffry, the rebound fell to the German forward who kept his impressive form going, by scoring his 5th goal of the tournament.

Captain Mats Grambusch then latched onto a loose ball in the French circle in the 24th minute, to score his second goal of the tournament, and Trompertz made it 4 for the Honamas, just a minute later, by deflecting a low drag flick by Tom Grambusch, over Thieffry and into the French goal.

Germany slowed things down in the third quarter, secure in the big lead they built up in the first half. France had a great opportunity midway through the quarter, as an aerial ball seemed destined to find Clement free in the German circle, but a leaping Tom Grambusch extended his stick in the air and managed to get a slight touch on the ball that deflected it away from Clement, keeping Germany’s clean sheet intact.

The best chance early in the 4th quarter also fell France’s way, with Masson’s run and piercing pass finding van Straaten in the circle and his cross nearly found Clement open at the far post, but Hinrich positioned himself perfectly to intercept the pass and clear the danger. France did finally manage to get a consolation goal with 2 minutes left on the clock as a low drag flick by Clement was deflected over Stadler by a diving Goyet, to give France a goal they deserved for the attacking intent they showed throughout the second half.

Germany got the final goal of the game to put the cherry on top of a great performance, as a quick penalty corner routine caught the French defence unaware and Peillat’s low drag flick met no resistance sealing a 5-1 win for Germany and a spot in the quarterfinals against England.

Quarter-finals lineup: Australia vs Spain; Belgium vs New Zealand; England vs Germany; Netherlands vs Korea.