Two weeks of extra-ordinary hockey action came to end with Germany defending their title successfully, as yesterday Netherlands did in Women’s category. Germany defeated Netherlands (2-1) in fitting finale at Riverbank Arena in London Olympic Park to win their 2nd successive Olympic Gold Medal. While earlier in the day the World Champions Australia defeated (3-1) the hosts Great Britain to win the Bronze Medal i.e. their 9th Olympic Medal.
With London 2012 Conclusion here some interesting numbers:2 Consecutive Olympic Gold Medals for Germany, equalled Netherlands (1996 and 2000), while India have 6 consecutive Gold Medal (1928, 1932, 1936, 1948, 1952 and 1960)
3 Consecutive Olympic Gold Medals for Markus WEISE as Coach (2004 Germany Women’s, 2008 and 2012 Germany Men’s)
4 Olympic Medals in 5 appearance for Tuen de NOOIJER of Netherlands (2 Gold and 2 Silver) equalled to Leslie CLAUDIUS (India) and Udham SINGH (India) in terms of number (Leslie CLAUDIUS and Udham SINGH have 3 Gold and 1 Silver)
6 Consecutive Olympic Medals for Australia (1992-Silver, 1996-Bronze, 2000-Bronze, 2004-Gold, 2008-Bronze and 2012-Bronze)
Germany and Netherlands started their quest for third Olympic Gold, after being sure of their 7th and 9th Olympic Medals respectively, with sharing 4 Gold medals between themselves in last 5 Olympics at Riverbank Arena in London Olympic Park.
25 year old, Jan Philipp RABENTE, who had only 6 goals in 71 international matches, scored both the goals for Germany to won the grand finale. Mink van der WEERDEN scored the lone goal for the Dutch side.
In the final the Defending Champions Germany started with attacking mode and the Dutch intended to get a start as they left the field against Great Britain in Semi Final (9-2 win). With most of the action happening between 23 yard lines and rare circle penetrations, the Dutch seemed to be advantageous position when they earned a penalty corner in 28th minute, but German rusher closed it down and defended successfully.
33rd minute of the game saw a moment of individual brilliance from 25 year old Jan Philipp RABENTE, who dribbled past three defenders and sent the ball in the nets on far post while falling down after losing control, to earn the lead for Germany and to score his first of London 2012 and 7th of his 78 international match career. And Well orgarnized Germans defended the remaining 2 minutes of the half to enjoy 1-0 lead in lemon break.
Eager to start, the Dutch were 2 minutes early on the pitch for 2nd half and started with aerial move, which was broke down by German defence, and sent back an aerial move into Dutch half. But the Germany remained in the controll of game as they were in first half.
With time ticking away, trailing (1-0) Netherlands applied sustained pressure and earned a Penalty Corner with 18 minutes remaining for regulation time, but found the leg of 1st German rusher and the Dutch were awarded another PC. This time, Mink van der WEERDEN found the target with strongly flick in the top corner of the post to the right side of Max WEINHOLD (German Goalie) to equalize with 16 minutes to go.
After conceding equalizer, the Germans started in attacking mode. In very next minute, they earned a PC at other end of pitch, but the Dutch Goalie JAAP STOCKMANN did not let it go through. He stood firm under the bars to stop German shots. But that presence of mind by Jan Philipp RABENTE, when he ran around the goal post to position himself perfectly on far post to guide that ball home with less than 5 minutes remaining on clock, and won the Gold for Germany. From there on, it was about holding the nerves and be resilient in defence, in which the Germans are masters. They they did it to defend their Olympics Gold Medal successfully.
In Bronze Medal match, Iain LEWERS had equalised for Great Britain in the 29th minute, cancelling out Simon Orchard’s 17th minute opening goal for the Australians. But the Kookaburras struck twice in second half through Jamie DWYER and Kieran GOVERS to the Bronze Medal for their team, i.e. 6th Olympic Medal for Australia in a row.
Earlier in the day, South Africa defeated India 3-2 to not only avoid wooden but also earned their first win against India in Olympics. While world number eleven Belgium stunned (5-2) the world number five Spain to finish at 5th position.