Germany booked their spot in the quarter-finals of the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 by defeating France 5-1 on Monday, January 23, in the crossover round. The German side will now face England for a spot in the semis.
Though the scoreline may suggest otherwise, France showed great fight and was very competitive. In fact, the scoreline was 1-1 for the entire second half. It was the four goals scored in the first half which proved the to be the difference.
Germany had to wait for the very last minute of the first quarter for their first goal. The ball was swept in from around the 23-meter line and was tapped in, after a touch inside the circle, by Marco Miltkau.
The second one followed soon, in the 19th minute. Niklas Wellen ran the ball down the field toward the circle before passing it to his left. It was then passed back to Wellen, who was in front of the goal. He initially couldn’t beat the goalkeeper but the ball stayed in play and Wellen eventually pushed it across the line.
Germany dominate the first half of the Hockey World Cup crossover game
The first half was dominated by the German team. They had the ball and were on the attack for most of the period. France barely managed a decent foray into the opposition’s last 25.
Things got worse for France in the 24th minute when Mats Grambusch scored a goal after a brilliant display of teamwork. Teo Hinrichs swept the ball into the circle, on the right-hand side, and it was deflected toward Thies Prinz.
Niklas Wellen took a shot at goal but it was stopped by the goalie. However, the rebound was latched onto by Grambusch and the German captain smashed the ball into the goal from the left.
The lead increased in the very next minute as a penalty corner got converted into a goal. Moritz Trompertz positioned himself right in front of the goalkeeper and deflected the drag-flick upwards. The ball was also deflected off the goalie’s pads and went into the top right corner for Germany’s fourth goal.
France puts in impressive effort in the second half
After a dominant display by Germany, France came back strong in the second half. In fact, the last 30 minutes of the game were a very even affair. The French defence stood up well against the potent German attacking duo of Christopher Ruhr and Wellen. Victor Charlet was especially impressive with his defending prowess.
It wasn’t just the French defense that shone. The underdogs kept making incursions into the opposition’s half, beyond the 23-meter line, and even into the circle.
Even though the French team didn’t crack under pressure, France kept pushing. They mainly attacked the circle from the flanks and created good opportunities. However, the goals didn’t come.
Right at the very end of the match, France finally managed to get off the mark. After a barrage of penalty corners for the French team, one was converted. In the 58th minute, Francois Goyet scored a goal similar to Tropertz’s. Goyet also deflected a penalty corner shot from the front of the goal to give France some consolation.
Unfortunately, for the French team, immediately after their goal, Ruhr went on a counter-attacking run across the field and into the circle. He was brought down in a clumsy tackle which yielded a PC. Gonzalo Peillat stepped up to finally score one in this match, in the very last minute. That ended a satisfying day for Germany on an even sweeter note.