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Rediff.com  » Sports » New Zealand stun Germany, finish third

New Zealand stun Germany, finish third

February 09, 2009 19:59 IST

Joel Baker struck in the last minute of the match to help New Zealand shock World champions Germany 3-2 in the play-off and finish third in the four-nation Punjab Gold Cup hockey tournament in Chandigarh on Monday.

The teams were locked 2-2 till the dying minute, when Baker scored to carve out a memorable victory for his team.

The Kiwis, ranked as low as seven, had not won a single match in the league stage and could not have asked for a better result. They played an attacking game, kept pressure on the German defence and were rewarded.

It was Germany, testing their youngsters in the tournament, who drew the first blood, scoring from a penalty-corner in the 17th minute through Mortiz Furste.

The Black Sticks found the equaliser in the 26th minute when Andren Haywards scored from a penalty-corner, the second his team earned.

In the final minute of the first half, the Kiwis squandered an opportunity to take laed, wasting a penalty-corner.

Two minutes into the second half, German midfielder Florian Woesch, who led a solo attack, missed a chance to score, failing to beat Kiwi goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex.

The Black Sticks, who had drawn two matches against Germany earlier, earned their fourth penalty-corner, which was converted into penalty-stroke by umpire Javed Shaikh after a foul by German defender Oscar Deecke.

Lloyd Stephenson capitalised on the chance and put the Kiwis 2-1 in the 50th minute.

In the very next minute, in similar fashion, a German penalty-corner was converted into penalty-stroke by Dutch umpire Michiel Bruning for a rough tackle in the striking circle in the 51st minute. Oscar Deecke scored for Germany and made the scoreline 2-2.

A couple of minutes, Kiwi forward Simon Child got an opportunity to make it 3-2 when he led a solo attack, but hit wide.

Baker clinched the issue in the last minute, beating three German defenders and goalkeeper Weinhold Max.