We didn't fix a draw, claim Germany
The hosts denied that they purposely played for a scoreless draw with Korea, a result that put both teams through into the semis.india Updated: Sep 14, 2006 16:38 IST
Germany denied they had purposely played for a scoreless draw with South Korea on Wednesday, a result that put both teams through into the semi-finals of the men's field hockey World Championship at the expense of the Netherlands.
The controversial Pool B match left Germany and South Korea on 11 points and into the last four and the Netherlands out of the podium fight, one point adrift.
Neither side conceded a penalty corner and both played conservatively in order to avoid defeat.
The final 10 minutes saw both teams hit the ball around the backfield when they were in possession to the boos and whistles from the Dutch supporters in the crowd as they played out for the mutually convenient result.
Germany coach Bernhard Peters insisted nothing was amiss.
"We tried to win and went out to win," Peters said.
"Only in the last 10 minutes did we play a defensive style with five players at the back."
German player Justus Scharowsky supported Peters.
"We tried to attack in the first-half and it was the Koreans who did not attack us," he said.
But he added, "If you ask the Dutch guys they would have done the same as us."
In other action Wednesday Spain joined Australia in the last four by defeating Japan 4-2 inspired by a Santiago Freixa hat-trick.
Kenichi Katayama opened the scoring for the Japan side, who failed to convert nine penalty corners, with a deflection after 15 minutes.
Spain hit back eight minutes later, Pol Amat tapping in a drive from Freixa, who scored his first goal early in the second-half with a spectacular backstick flick into the top of the net.
Katayama pulled the scores level at 2-2 with his second, deflected from a free hit outside the circle.
Freixa completed his hat-trick with deflections at the right post in the 58th and 66th minutes to break the deadlock and leave Spain unbeaten in the round-robin pool games, with three wins and two draws to their credit.
England beat South Africa 3-1 in the last Pool B match to put England in the playoff for fifth to eighth place.
Ian Symons got South Africa off to a bright start, converting their first penalty corner in the 10th minute and England came back with a deflection goal to James Tindall 11 minutes later.
Richard Mantell's two penalty corner conversions in the second half lifted England to the win.
The first looped inside the left post to hit the backboards and the second flew into the right of the net.
Australia had qualified for the semi-finals before defeating Pakistan 3-0 in the last round robin match to take top place in Pool A with 12 points after losing their first game to Spain 3-1.
Bevan George slapped in rebounds off both of Australia's penalty corners after 14 minutes and 51 minutes and Jamie Dwyer scored a brilliant individual goal flicking over Salman Akbar from an acute angle less than a metre inside the backline three minutes before the break.
Sohail Abbas missed all five penalty corner chances to score for Pakistan.
"My team woke up in the second half and played well in the last 12 minutes," said Shahnaz Sheikh, Pakistan's coach.
"We were tighter in defence and stopped Pakistan's flow in the midfield," said Barry Dancer, Australia's coach.
"No players are injured and we are in a good position physically for the semi-finals," Dancer said.
In Friday's semi-finals, Germany meet Spain and Australia play South Korea.
In the playoff for fifth to eighth place, New Zealand plays England and Pakistan meets Netherlands.
In the playoff for ninth to twelfth place, Argentina play India and South Africa meet Japan.
First Published: Sep 14, 2006 16:38 IST