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Germany, Australia in World Cup final
September 16, 2006 07:53 IST
Defending champions Germany overcame Spain by a 5-3 aggregate via the tie-breaker to set up a clash with Australia in the final of the 11th FIH men's hockey World Cup in Monchegladbach, Germany, on Friday night.
Bjoern Emmerling (19th minute) and Moritz Fuerste (45th) scored for Germany during regulation time, while Spain's reply came from Santiago Freixa (27th) and Alex Fabregas (46th).
With the teams deadlocked even after extra-time, the penalty shoot-out was applied.
In the tie-breaker, Christopher Zeller, Timo Wess and Phillip Zeller converted for Germany while only Eduard Tabau was successful for Spain.
Neither team took the fifth and last stroke.
The thrill-a-minute match saw Spain keeping pace with Germany, who led twice in the game, but could not drive home the advantage until in the tie-breaker when their goalkeeper Ulrich Bubolz brought off two saves to eliminate Spain.
Sunday's final will be a repeat of the 2002 World Cup final in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when Germany beat Australia 2-1 for their maiden success.
Earlier, Olympic champions Australia staged a strong fightback to snatch an astounding 4-2 victory over Asian challengers South Koreal.
Twice in arrears in a thrilling semi-final clash, the never-say-die Aussies slammed four goals in the second half to stamp their authority.
In a high-class encounter of aggressive and near-flawless hockey, the Koreans gave the No 1 ranked Australians a run for their money through goals by drag-flicker Jong Hyun Jang (31st minute) and Seong Jung Kang (41st).
But the Aussies came back to fire in four goals through strikes by captain Bevan George (38th), Travis Brooks (51st), Jamie Dwyer (61st) and M McCan (70th) and smash the Koreans' golden dream.
The valiant and incredible saves by Korean custodian Dong Sik Ko as well as the advantage of getting the lead twice in the match went in vain for Korea, semi-finalists at the 2002 World Cup, as they met a similar fate.