For the third year in succession, the Hockey World Cup will witness a final between Germany and Australia, which goes to show how seriously these two nations have adapted to this speedy and skillful game and how superior they both are, in terms of individual skills and strategic play. These attributes, along with extreme physical preparedness, have helped them reach the final stage of world excellence.
The final is going to showcase two different types of hockey --- one that plays patient hockey, very disciplined and structured, as opposed to one that has great technical skills and individual flair, which outpaces every team that they play with ease and confidence.
In my mind, “Germany” will always be “Germany”. They may have started off the blocks slow (against Korea) but their change of gear ensured them a place in the final. I have always seen Germany as a team that can come out winning the war even when the odds are stacked against them. All they need is a moment of brilliance and they can turn the tables on any team on any day. They are not the reigning World Cup champions for nothing and will be going for a record triple in a row against Australia.
The motivation is already there and what is left is only the execution of the winning formula. For the record, they are the only undefeated team in the tournament and are improving with every game. It was a day when discipline, strategy and game plan were in perfect sync. Germany scored a 4-1 win over England, which celebrated their style of play that I reiterate has not changed over the last 25 years. They went on to prove that though the match statistics showed they did not have more possession than England, their patient game style and fast counter-attacks proved very decisive in ensuring victory.
Australia, meanwhile, would not like to continue to be just contenders and would want to stand on the podium with a World Cup gold medal in hand that has eluded them. Being one of the fittest teams in this tournament, and having many players with individual brilliance, they have been the exciting team to watch with their style of attacking hockey. They are not a team to bore you with simple and patient hockey.