Holders hope to mark rivals out of semifinals
Germany are on the verge of making history at the Hockey World Cup. A victory in the final would ensure them a unique distinction — of winning the quadrennial event three times in a row, reports Saurabh Duggal.Updated: Mar 10, 2010, 23:51 IST
Germany are on the verge of making history at the Hockey World Cup. A victory in the final would ensure them a unique distinction — of winning the quadrennial event three times in a row.
“I am happy I have achieved my first goal of making it to the last-four,” said German coach Markus Weise. “We are here to win the Cup but before that my entire focus is on the tomorrow’s game against England.
“Both teams are equally matched, so what matters is the performance on the day. The team that will minimise errors will win. In such a crucial match, there is no room for mistakes. You have to be at your best on the day,” he added.
Speaking about his team’s strengths, Weise said, “The boys are playing well in all departments and I expect everyone to give off his best. But our main strength is defence. We are good at man-to-man and zone marking. Besides, we can easily adjust our defence keeping in mind our opponents’ attack.”
However, an area of concern for the Germans is their first-choice goalkeeper, Max Weinhold, who is out because of injury. “Both goalkeepers, Tim Jessulat and Max, are equally good. So, we are not too bothered on that front,” the coach said.
For the record, Germany and England have met five times in World Cups with the former having emerged winners on three occasions, while England have won once.
During the European Championships last year, England defeated Germany 5-3 to clinch the title.
“We have played on many occasions, so we know each others’ game pretty well,” said Weise.
“England have emerged as a strong team. By the time the 2012 London Olympic Games are round the corner, they will be a solid unit. They beat us in the 2009 European Championship final and during the league stage of the event we were held to a 4-4 draw. But tomorrow’s semifinal will be a completely new game for us,” concluded Weise.