We are in a must-win situation against New Zealand: German coach

New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) German coach Markus Weise said Sunday night his boys are in a must-win situation in their last match against New Zealand to make the semi-finals in Pool A of the Hockey World Cup.

After a 2-2 draw Sunday with neighbours, the Netherlands at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Pool A has opened up again. Germany, Asian champions South Korea, Netherlands are now fighting hard for the two semi-final spots from the group.

Mathematically, New Zealand also have an outside chance, but they have to defeat Germany by a nine goal margin and then hope the Netherlands either beat or draw with Korea in the second game.

‘I am quiet happy with the performance. It was a tough match for both the teams. Both the teams play a very similar style of hockey and they are aware of each other’s strength and weaknesses. It was a close match for us,’ said Weise.

Asked whether the goal difference would be the deciding factor, Weise said: ‘Koreans were lucky today to win 9-2. But I can’t ask my boys to win 10-0 against New Zealand. We can only hope to play well. If we are successful we are in, if not then we are out. That is how life goes.’

German captain Maximilian Mueller said: ‘It was a close match. We fought hard and deserved to win.’

Weise, however, differed with his captain. ‘I don’t think we deserved to win. We missed some easy chances.’

South Korea now have seven points and have to beat the Netherlands in their last group match Tuesday. While for the Dutch, who are now on 10 points, a draw would be enough. Germany are on eight points.

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