Two of the most successful teams of the Champions Trophy – Australia and Germany – will lock horns against each other in the other semi-final of the tournament. Australia, 13-time champions and the winner of the last edition would like to continue their dominant streak uninterrupted whereas Germany, nine-time winners of the trophy, would be in a hunt to increase that tally.
Two present giants of the game, it would be a battle of two powerhouses who would come out all guns blazing to stamp their style and authority in the game.
Australia – born and bred champions
Australia started their defence of the title in a very unconvincing manner when they were completely outwitted by England 3-1 in the inaugural match. Adding more woes to the loss, they lost the plot in the second game when they had to settle for a dramatic 4-4 draw with the Belgium at the very last whistle of the hooter.
However, as we know how champions are known for their ability to bounce back, Australia reminded everyone about their capability in the next match when they brushed aside Pakistan 3-0 and demolished Argentina 4-2 in the quarters setting up a semi-final clash against the Germans.
The Kookaburras in the absence of the injured duo of Jamie Dwyer and Mark Knowles would turn to their rising star Jeremy Hayward for the goals. The young lad already has three goals to his name and is a live-wire upfront.
For penalty corner conversion, the brawny Cirello would be the go-to-guy for the yellow brigade. Australia’s weak spot seems to be their defence as they have conceded a lot of goals and would look to improve in this department.
Starting line-up: Daniel Beale, Chris Ciriello, Andrew Charter (goalkeeper), Matthew Dawson, Tim Deavin, Russell Ford, Jeremy Hayward, Fergus Kavanagh, Eddie Ockenden, Flynn Ogilvie, Simon Orchard, Jake Whetton, Tristan White.
Germany – A team in transition
An inexperienced Germany team’s road to semi-finals has been a bumpy one. After their last minute laborious win against India, they dished out some poor performances and lost consecutively against Argentina and Netherlands with huge goal margin. As a result of which they languished at the bottom of the table in the league matches.
However, they swept aside their league matches poor outing and produced a master-class performance in the quarters against the mighty England defeating them 2-0.
Thanks to Tobias Hauke artful stickwork and Captain Moritz Fuerste, Germany are back in form and raring to go against the Kookaburras. Custodian Nicolas Jacobi will be given responsibility to defend the German citadel and push away all Australian raids.
Starting line-up: Moritz Fuerste (captain), Jonas Gomoll, Mats Grambusch, Florian Fuchs, Nicolas Jacobi (goalkeeper), Christopher Wesley, Tobias Hauke, Lukas Windfeder, Christopher Ruhr, Martin Zwicker, Pit Arnold.Published 13 Dec 2014, 01:15 IST