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 February 27, 2002 | 1830 IST

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Spain shock Germany

Spain brought back memories of the 1998 Utrecht World Cup semi-final when they beat Germany 3-2 in a thriller at the men's hockey World Cup, at the National stadium, in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, on Wednesday.

It was Spain's third wins from as many matches and placed them in strong contention for a semi-final berth.

The Germans suffered their first defeat after two victories.

Wednesday's Pool A match looked like ending up with the same scorline as the 1998 semi-final -- 3-0 -- till the Germans pulled back with two goals in the dying moments to save face.

In a match interrupted by torrential rain, Spain controlled the match in midfield and capitalized on defensive lapses to emerge triumphant.

Eduard Tubau opened the scoring for Spain with a penalty-corner conversion in the 23rd minute. After rain interrupted play for 30 minutes, Tabau was again on target, in the 46th minute, this time from a field goal.

Xavier Ribas made it 3-0 in the 62nd minute.

With just three minutes remaining, the Germans scored twice through Bjorn Michel, from a field goal, and Oliver Domke, from a penalty-corner, to save their team from embarrassment.

Spain play the Netherlands on Thursday while while Germany take on Belgium.

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