Germany opened their Hockey World Cup campaign with a smashing 4-0 beating of South Africa at The Hague, Netherlands on Sunday. Although the 12th-ranked South Africans had the better of the opening exchanges with Clinton Panther losing out on an opportunity to drill in a goal from his first strike, the reigning Olympic champions did not sit back. Towards the middle of the first half, Germany started augmenting pressure.
South Africa’s Erasmus Pieterse came out on top when he was called into action time and again, stopping Florian Fuchs’ and Oliver Korn’s attempts and a series of three penalties. The stalemate was broken in the 27th minute when Timothy Drummond fouled Benjamin Weiss in the circle and Zeller put the ball home. Germany took charge of the match, dominating the remaining time of the first half compelling South Africa to chase shadows.
Thilo Stralkowski let loose a shot from the right-hand side of the pitch to make it two for the Germans with just a few seconds left in the first half. The Europeans came back in the second half to add another two to their lead. The first one came in the 56th minute through Martin Zicker’s cross to Grambusch who fired the ball home. The last goal to seal Germany’s win came through a fascinating display, when Christopher Ruhr dribbled his way through three defenders to shoot, and Captain Oliver was in the right place and right time to put the final touch behind Pieterse in the 59th minute.