|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Germany win men's European Nations Cup hockey
September 14, 2003 20:51 IST
World champions Germany retained the men's European Nations Cup after a nailbiting 5-4 penalty shoot-out victory over hosts Spain on Saturday.
The victory also secured them a place in next year's Olympics.
Earlier on Saturday, The Netherlands won the women's tournament for the fifth time in six attempts with a comprehensive 5-0 defeat of Spain in the final.
The victory ensured that the Dutch gained an automatic place for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and will not have to go through next year's qualifying tournament in New Zealand.
In the men's final, it was Spain who took the lead with a well-taken field goal from Santi Freixa in the 19th minute, but Germany levelled the game 14 minutes later when skipper Florian Kunz scored from a penalty-corner.
With the scores remaining level right through to the end of extra-time it was the World champions who held their nerve to claim their narrow victory.
England took third place in the men's tournament when they beat the Netherlands 6-5 in a penalty shoot-out after the match had ended in a 1-1 draw at the end of extra-time.
The Netherlands' captain Mijntje Donners led by example in the women's final, beginning the rout with an early goal from a fierce close-range shot after just four minutes.
The tournament's leading scorer extended her side's lead from a penalty corner midway through the first half to take her tally to 13 goals in seven games.
Kim Lammers added another to give the Dutch a comfortable 3-0 lead by the break and the favourites wrapped up victory early in the second half thanks to a penalty-corner from Ageeth Boomgaardt and a field goal from Miek van Geenhuizen.
The Dutch women won every match on the way to the final and conceded just three goals in the tournament.
Germany beat England 3-1, with a hat-trick from Fanny Rinne, to win the bronze medal.