Captain Mats Grambusch and his younger brother Tom scored within a minute after England led 2-0 until the 58th minute as Germany snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat in a quarter-final game on the edge of the seat.
How it happened
Germany, who finished second in Pool B and beat France 5-1 in the crossover match, will face title contenders Australia in the semi-finals on Friday.
𝐅𝐮𝐥𝐥-𝐓𝐢𝐦𝐞: 𝐄𝐧𝐠𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝟐-𝐆𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐆𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 (𝐒𝐎: 𝟑-𝟒) Germany ends an incredible return in the last 2 minutes to snatch… https://t.co/svl8ui2RB5
— International Hockey Federation (@FIH_Hockey) 1674654095000
Rowdy spectators at Kalinga Stadium thought England would finish the game comfortably after Zachary Wallace (12th) and Liam Ansell (33rd) gave them a 2-0 lead.
But to their astonishment, the Germans came back strong to score goals in the 58th and 59th minutes thanks to Mats and Tom Grambusch respectively.
Just before that, Christopher Ruhr had wasted a chance from the penalty kick in the 57th minute.
Trailing 1-2, Germany picked up a penalty with one minute left in the match. Mats then asked his younger brother Tom to take him and he was right on the spot to lead the game on penalties.
Niklas Wellen, Hannes Muller, Prinz Thies and Christopher Ruhr scored for Germany in the shootout. For England James Albery, Zachary Wallace, Phil Roper scored, while David Goodfield missed.
“It was a crazy game for sure, we were behind for most of the game. But we managed to convert the chances that came late in the game. It shows the character of the team,” Mats said.
“Our parents must be watching this game and they must be extremely happy to see that we both scored in a crucial game for the team and the country,” said Tom.
Germany’s response is reminiscent of their national football team, famous for their never-say-die attitude.
“It’s a cruel game, you were leading 2-0 with less than five minutes remaining and you lost the game,” said England captain David Ames.
England qualified directly for the quarter-finals after dominating Pool D ahead of India.
They started as the more offensive team and took the lead in the 12th minute thanks to a fine combination between Jack Waller, Stuart Rushemere and Zachary Wallace.
Waller cut into the hitting circle from the right and Rushemere weaved around three German defenders before Wallace swung home with a tennis volley.
Wallace attempted the German goal again later, but his shot, after dodging a defender in the second quarter, was blocked by the goalkeeper.
Germany pressed in the second quarter with many more players up front, but England defended well with man-to-man scoring. But the Germans’ relentless attack earned them the first corner of the game which they wasted.
The Englishman didn’t give the Germans space every time they entered the kicking circle. But Harry Martin had space and time to shoot but the goalkeeper was in the thick of the action once again as he blocked Germany’s second corner two minutes from half-time.
Trailing 0-1 at half-time, Germany let themselves down as Timur Oruz received a green card in the 31st minute for a two-minute suspension and England jumped on that advantage to earn two corners consecutive penalties and double their lead from second.
Liam Ansell made a soft touch of the ball after the stopper put it in his way, then fired a powerful shot that beat Germany goalkeeper Alexander Stadler.
Germany were under huge pressure in the third quarter when Christopher Ruhr received a yellow card in the 38th minute for a five-minute suspension.
Just before the end of the third quarter, play was stopped after England’s Liam Sanford fell to the grass and a few of his teammates surrounded the Ruhr, but the referees managed to calm the players down.
Germany were awarded a penalty kick in the 57th minute, but Christopher Ruhr’s shot hit the crossbar. But a minute later, captain Mats Grambusch retired one with a field goal.
The game ended 2-2 in spectacular fashion as seconds later Mats’ brother Tom scored on the penalty kick.
With 38 seconds left in regulation time, Germany were awarded a penalty corner but England defended it in tense circumstances.