Semi-finals against England and then into the final – that’s the plan of the German hockey men.
The world champion is gradually gaining momentum at the European Hockey Championships. “All that glitters is not gold. But we can be very satisfied,” said international Timur Oruz after reaching the semi-finals as group winners.
“That was our goal. Some outsiders had some doubts after our first game,” said Oruz after the hard-fought 4-1 (1-1) win against France. This means that the DHB selection will meet England on Friday at 9 p.m. and not Olympic champion Belgium, who will have to compete with the defending champion Netherlands in the second semi-final.
Pressure of expectation leaves traces
Six months after winning the World Cup in India, the German team seems ready for their first European Championship victory in ten years. National coach Andre Henning made that clear a long time ago. The pressure of expectation leaves its mark.
“But shifting up a gear and knowing what to do at the right moment, that’s a strength,” said the coach, who led the team to the much-celebrated World Cup gold in January and has now played ten tournament games at the World Cup and European Championship is undefeated with his team.
Hot for the final
Before the World Cup final, England also stood in the way as a stubborn opponent in the quarter-finals and could only be defeated in a penalty shootout. “It’s going to be a completely different game,” said captain Mats Grambusch, who started the win against France with the first goal in the 24th minute. Lukas Windfeder, Gonzalo Peillat and Thies Prinz scored the other goals and secured the team’s entry into the next round.
And that’s not the end of it. “At the end of the day we’re the better team, the tight-knit squad that will stand up to England. The mood here will carry us. We’re keen to beat England and get through to the final,” said Oruz.
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