Hockey World Cup 2018, Malaysia vs Germany: 5 Talking Points
With the culmination of the Pool D matches, the league stage of the FIH Hockey World Cup is now officially closed.
The table toppers have made it directly to the quarterfinals, while those at the second and third place in the pool stage have made the cut for the crossover round, or the mini pre quarterfinals.
Unfortunately, four teams have to say goodbye to their World Cup dreams, as they made an exit from the pool stage itself.
With Spain, South Africa and Ireland already having made an exit, it was time for Asian Games' silver medalists and giant killers Malaysia, who were being coached by ex India coach Roelant Oltmans, to pack their bags, as they were beaten 3-5 by European powerhouse Germany.
Right from the word go, Malaysia had the writing on the wall. Touted to upset many strong teams at the start of the World Cup, Malaysia looked totally out of synchronization against the strong German attack.
From the second minute itself, when Germany scored their first goal, the bubble fame of Malaysia was reduced to smithereens by Germany in this match. Though Malaysia tried to fight back, scoring goals at regular intervals, it went all in vain.
An attempt to play rough only backfired on the Malaysian team, as two of their players, Azuan Hasan (in the 14th minute) and Marhan Jalil (in the 57th minute) were shown the yellow cards for being over aggressive on the field.
The only place where Malaysia made a valid attempt to outfox Germany was in the penalty corners, where Malaysia capitalized on three of their eight penalty corners.
Sadly, this was of no use, as Germany had already secured a lead of 4-3 by the end of the third quarter, which was further extended to 5-3 by Timm Herzbruch.
#5 Germany attack from the word Go
Much like the Kookaburras, Germany believes in the maxim of attack and make irrecoverable damages against the rival team. From the very first whistle itself, it was clear as to which team actually called the shots in the match between Germany and Malaysia.
The Germans found a reason to cheer, when Timm Herzbruch scored a crisp field goal in the second minute of the match, capitalizing on a penalty corner earned by the Germans.
Ironically, this was the only instance, when Germany succeeded in scoring against Malaysia on a penalty corner.
Otherwise, out of the nine penalty corners that Germany had earned, they couldn't capitalize on any of the other eight penalty corners.
This could be an area of concern for Germany in the upcoming quarterfinals, given that they could only convert four out of 14 penalty corners successfully.