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Rabente's double powers Germany to defend men's hockey title

08-12-2012 06:13 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

LONDON, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Germany scored a late winner to retain their Olympic title with a 2-1 victory against Netherlands in the men's hockey final of London Olympics on Saturday.

Despite Netherlands enjoying the best of a tight first half where Billy Bakker threatened Germany's goal, but just to witness a pair of good saves from goalkeeper Max Weinhold, Germany took the lead a couple of minutes before the end of the half, Jan Philipp Rabente attacking Netherlands' circle from the right before slapping the ball past Dutch goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann as he fell.

Germany controlled the match at the start of the second half, with Christopher Zeller hitting the post.

After a period of sustained pressure on the Germany circle, Netherlands equalized as the tournament top scorer Mink Van Der Weerden flicked in his eighth goal to make it 1-1 in the 54th minute

Rabente got Germany's winner in the 66th minute, deflecting in a ball from Florian Fuchs into the circle after his own attacking run had unsettled Netherlands' defense.

Germany became the first team to retain the Olympic title in men's hockey since Netherlands achieved the feat at Sydney 2000.

"It was a big fight. Netherlands were a great opponent, they played a great tournament. I'm so happy right now I just don't know what to say," said Christopher Zeller.

"The first one (goal) was phenomenal, unbelievable. A solo run from Rabi (Rabente). The second one came just at the right time so we just had to defend for five more minutes. It was good because pressure from the the Dutch was immense. We did it and it feels unbelievable.

Asked how to celebrate the victory, Zeller said: "There's going to be a big party. The last three weeks were pretty hard, the tournament was pretty long so I think we deserve a big party."

Dutch team felt bitterness from the defeat. "I don't have much to say, really. I am just so disappointed right now. We were going for gold. Before the tournament I would probably have signed for the silver but if you make it to the final you only think about the gold," said Billy Bakker, who scored six goals for the Netherlands in the tournament .

"We had a great tournament and we showed the Netherlands how we can play hockey. I scored six times at an Olympics, so I can't complain. I don't know what Germany did better today, I will have to see the video footage, it's a final, that is always different."

In the bronze medal match, Australia beat Britain 3-1 to take their sixth consecutive Olympics medal.

Simon Orchard put Australia ahead in the 17th minute, breaking into the Britain circle to fire a rising shot past Britain's goalkeeper James Fair.

Iain Lewers equalized for Britain in the 29th minute, deflecting in an Ashley Jackson pass off the first penalty corner of the match.

Jamie Dwyer put Australia back into the lead in the 48th minute, hitting in a loose ball after a series of penalty corners to make it 2-1.

Kieran Govers completed the scoring for Australia in 57th minute, batting in the rebound after Fair had blocked a Dwyer shot.

The victory gave Australia a second consecutive Olympic bronze medal.

In the fifth-sixth place match, Belgium crushed Spain 5-2. The fifth place finish is a big lift for Belgium, who is seven places above their world ranking.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: Xinhua

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