Germany start favourites against England in semifinal | india | Hindustan Times
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Germany start favourites against England in semifinal

india Updated: Mar 10, 2010 18:24 IST

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Defending champions Germany would start as favourites against European rivals England when they face each other in the semifinal of the hockey World Cup in New Delhi on Thursday.

The Germans lost their last international match against England in the European Championships in August last year but with current form, they looked to have a slight edge. They are the only unbeaten side among the four teams in the semifinals.

Though without their main penalty corner taker Christoph Zeller in the side, the Germans have been more consistent than England in the pool stages after starting their title defence with a 2-2 draw against plucky South Korea.

Germany, gunning for a hat trick of World Cup titles after their triumphs in 2002 and 2006, drubbed Canada 6-0 in their second match before being stretched by South Africa in their 4-3 victory.

The last two matches, however, must have infused a lot of confidence in the Maximillian Muller-led side. They showed their never-say-die attitude by fighting back from one-goal down in their 2-2 draw against the Netherlands and almost won the match before Dutch captain Teun de Nooijer stole a late goal.

The 5-2 convincing victory over New Zealand would also have boosted Germany going into the semifinals. They had also beaten England 2-1 in their only earlier World Cup clash -- in the 2006 edition.