Germany blank Pak to bag title

Germany blank Pak to bag title
A youthful Germany gave another illustration of their seemingly endless reservoir of talent, winning the FIH Champions Trophy in masterful fashion here on Sunday.

Christopher Wesley deflected one home while Florian Fuchs laid the finishing touches to a blistering piece of counter-attack as the spirited Germans defeated a battling Pakistan 2-0 at the Kalinga Stadium.

Having endured an ordinary start to their campaign where they finished last in the group stage, the Olympic champions thus completed their turnaround in remarkable fashion, dishing out an organised performance to leave Pakistan breathless.

Playing with three debutantes and four more players with less than 20 caps, the inexperienced Germans began the final contest with a point to prove after disappointing returns in the World League Finals and World Cup. With the crowd totally behind them following Pakistani players’ outburst on Saturday, the Germans rode on their support and then rewarded them with a victory.

The Germans began the contest in energetic fashion, searching for an early goal that would give them some breathing space. They kept pouring forward, rarely lifting their foot of the pedal, playing most of the opening quarter in the Pakistan half.

From the opening minute when they earned their first penalty corner which Christopher Ruhr shot wide, till the 15th minute, Germany missed at least three chances to break the ice.

Hanging on by the skin of their teeth, Pakistan defence finally caved in when Jonas Gomoll whipped a stinging shot into the circle which Wesley deflected brilliantly. The goal gave them the confidence and the Europeans pressed harder for the second but somehow kept squandering the chances as Pakistan stayed within touching distance despite appearing totally outplayed.

One of the most dangerous and unpredictable sides, Pakistan then came back roaring in the third quarter as Germans, very bizarrely, chose to put a lid on their attacking instincts.
That gave Pakistan the opening they were seeking so desperately and they grabbed it with both hands and then tested the German defence with constant raids. After running into wall of defenders mostly, playmaker Shafqat Rasool produced a piece of magic but sadly found no support.

Showing sublime skills, Rasool dinked and turned past a German defender from the edge of the circle on the left before letting rip a cross that two Pakistani players failed to connect in the 48th minute.

German Skipper Moritz Furste, the veteran in the side and easily the main reason behind Germany’s success, then quickly called his wards, yelled out instructions and they regrouped instantly. They started to push for the insurance goal and nearly got one in the 55th minute when Florian Fuchs sent a beautiful ball from the centre to Ruhr, who dribbled into the circle but saw his superb scoop just sail over.

Fuchs then sealed the issue with probably the goal of the tournament. Furste sent a long ball from just off his citadel which Fuchs collected single-handedly a little before the 25-yard line in the Pakistani half, dribbled into the circle and then reverse-hit, eliciting a standing ovation from the crowd.

Result: Germany: 2 (Christopher Wesley 18th, Florian Fuchs 57th) bt Pakistan: 0.

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