– Photo: Social Media
Germany won the title by defeating Belgium in the final of the Hockey World Cup. With this, Germany ended Belgium’s dominance of the last five years. Germany once again came back brilliantly from a two-goal deficit. India on Sunday won the FIH Men’s Hockey World title for the third time after defeating defending champions Belgium in a penalty shootout.
In a thrilling final, the two teams were tied 3-3 after regular time, but the Germans then won 5-4 in sudden death before a packed Kalinga Stadium. Niclas Wellen (29th), Gonzalo Peillat (41st) and captain Mats Grembusch (48th) scored for Germany in regular time.
Florent van Obel (10th minute), Tengas Kossins (11th minute) and Tom Boon (59th) scored for defending champions Belgium. This is the third time in the ongoing tournament that Germany came from 0-2 down to win which is a testament to the mental strength of the team. Germany had earlier won the quarter-finals against England and the semi-finals against Australia after coming from two goals down.
Germany also took their world title tally to three, equaling Australia and the Netherlands. Germany had earlier won the title in 2002 and 2006 as well. The record of winning the most titles in the Men’s Hockey World Cup is recorded in the name of Pakistan, who have won this title four times.
Belgium got off to a great start in the match. Wayne Obel gave Belgium the lead in the 10th minute with a field goal, while Cousins made it 2–0 the very next minute. Belgium had a chance to make it 3–0 in the first minute of the second quarter, but Gauthier Bocard’s penalty corner attempt was saved by Germany goalkeeper Alexander Stadler.
Germany’s Tom Grembusch missed a penalty stroke chance in the 19th minute. Wellen brought Germany back on target by converting a penalty corner variation. At halftime, the Belgian team was leading 2-1. Germany missed a chance to equalize in the 40th minute, but penalty corner specialist Peillat scored in the very next minute to make it 2–2.
Captain Metz Grembusch gave Germany the lead for the first time in the match in the third minute of the fourth quarter. When it looked like Germany would win in regular time, Boon equalized in the 59th minute. The match then went to a penalty shootout and Germany won. At the same time, Netherlands defeated Australia and secured the third place. The Australian team finished fourth. India had secured the ninth position after defeating Japan and South Africa in the classification match.