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SportsHockey World Cup

Germany and Netherlands delight in 2-2 draw (Lead)

By Sirshendu Panth

New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) In a battle of drama, intensity and fast paced hockey, European arch-rivals Germany and the Netherlands finished 2-2 in the World Cup Sunday to throw open Pool A as four teams were still with a chance to make the semi-final.

The two sides dished out an exhilarating display of attacking hockey, in what could be termed the best match in the competition so far at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here.

Three-time winners, the Netherlands drew first blood through a penalty corner conversion by Wouter Jolie (23rd minute) in the first session and maintained the lead till the breather with their defence and particularly goalkeeper Guus Vogels holding firm.

The Germans rallied in the second half, building up intense pressure as Oliver Korn found the equaliser (44th), before Jan-Marco Montag (63rd) put them ahead. But the Netherlands bounced back into the game soon after with captain Teun de Nooijer (65th) drawing parity.

With the eighth World Cup match between the European powerhouses ending unproductive, the Netherlands remain atop the pool collecting ten points from four games, followed by Germany on eight points. Korea are now third with seven, one more than New Zealand, who occupy the fourth position.

The two matches between Germany and New Zealand, and the Netherlands and Korea Tuesday will now decide the semi-finalists, as each of the four teams could make the cut mathematically speaking.

The early minutes itself gave an indication of the beautiful hockey on offer, as the ball travelled from one end to the other.

Fed by skipper Maxmilian Mueller, Germany