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Germany beat Korea 2-1
January 11, 2004 16:17 IST
World champions Germany rode their luck to beat Korea 2-1 and register their third win on the trot in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament at the National Stadium at Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
The victory perched Germany on the top with nine points while the Koreans remained on one point from their draw with Australia yesterday.
A penalty corner conversion by Bjoern Michel (27th) put Germany in the front as they controlled much of the first-half. But uncharacteristically, they grew complacent, allowing Korea back in the game in a replay of the 2002 World Cup semi-finals at the same venue and which the Germans had won 3-2.
Seong Seung Tae deflected Ji Seong Hwan's long-corner to level the scores before Christoph Bechmann scored the match winner from Mattias Wittahus pass in the 68th, a goal that the Koreans hotly disputed.
Bechmann had apparently shielded the ball after receiving the pass. The Koreans argued with the South African umpire Stewart Dearing, but in vain.
The German gamble of fielding their second choice goalkeeper Christian Schulte paid off as he brought off some fine saves to deny Koreans who were also unlucky when in the first-half, Yeo Woon Kon's attempt came off the crosspiece.
The hot and humid conditions seemed to tell more on the Koreans who, barring a couple of attempts at the German goal, did little else of note. Only midway through the second-half did they spark to life. But the German defence did well to frustrate the Asian Games gold medallists.