Germany Hands New Zealand Devastating 3-2 Loss
It was the final second of the game when Florian Fuchs dove into the circle in a desperate attempt to avoid a shootout with New Zealand.
The 24-year-old made the shot.
In a game where they trailed until the very end of the fourth quarter, two-time defending gold medalist Germany came back to beat New Zealand 3-2 and earn a trip to the semifinal round.
Fuchs’ heroic efforts came after team captain Moritz Furste led Germany in the fourth quarter with two penalty corner goals to tie up the game.
This all came after the Black Sticks had built up their two-goal lead.
New Zealand’s pregame message in the huddle was, “Let’s take it to them,” and they did just that, coming out with a Hugo Inglis goal early in the second quarter to take a 1-0 lead.
Germany came out of halftime pushing with a greater pace and getting off more shot opportunities than the Black Sticks, but they still couldn’t get things going in the third quarter.
The Black Sticks increased the lead to two in the fourth quarter when Shea McAleese scored on a penalty corner attempt, putting the semifinals closer in the team’s sight.
Or so they thought.
Germany was not ready to accept defeat. They earned a penalty corner attempt and Furste sent one flying into the New Zealand goal, cutting the lead to one.
With the surge of momentum, Germany drew corner after corner until finally converting with just over a minute remaining in the game.
The Germans gave it every last effort until the very last second of the game, and Fuchs came up with the goal that crushed New Zealand’s medal hopes and sealed Germany’s chances at a three-peat.
Germany will play Argentina in the semifinal on Tuesday.
Netherlands Dominates Australia 4-0
Australia came into the Olympic tournament not only as medal contenders, but also as the No. 1 ranked team and the predicted gold medal winners.
The Netherlands just thwarted those predictions.
In a dominant 3-0 win, the Dutch paved its way to the semifinals and finished Australia’s Olympic run.
It took less than a minute for the Netherlands to score which would end up being indicative to how the rest of the game would play out.
Billy Bakker was the guy making it all happen for the Dutch in the first half. He scored the first goal and assisted Bob De Voogd on the second, giving the team an early 2-0 lead.
Australia was desperate to get something going, but Valentin Verga would continue the momentum for the Dutch when he darted into the circle to tip a pass high into the cage for the team’s third goal.
Then came the lethal drack flicker Mink Van der Weerden. He gave the Dutch a four-goal lead on his eighth penalty corner goal of the Olympic tournament, sealing the advancement if it hadn’t been done so already.
This forced Australia to take out its goalkeeper in favor for an extra man on the field, but the effort would fall short. The overpowering start from the Dutch would be too much for the Kookaburras to come back from.
With the win, the Netherlands will move on for a showdown with Belgium on Tuesday.
Belgium Tops India 3-1 Led by Dockier
After a dominating second half of play, Belgium ran away with a 3-1 win over India to move on to the semifinal round.
Sebastien Dockier was the difference in this contest, scoring two goals in the third quarter.
India knew that if they wanted a chance at beating this strong Belgium team, they would have to find a way to get up on them early on.
They got that chance when Akashdeep Singh made something out of nothing when his teammate fired a hopeful pass into the circle. Singh made a last-second adjustment to his stick, which proved to be the perfect position to tip the ball into the cage.
Belgium went into halftime scoreless, but came out with a game plan that got them three goals.
Dockier pushed and prodded until he got a foot into the circle where he ripped one into India’s goal. As time expired, Dockier got the tipped goal to give Belgium the lead.
Tom Boon made an impact after suffering from some injuries in pool play. He started the second half and scored in the fourth quarter to put this one out of India’s reach.
India took out its goalkeeper in hopes for an advantage on offense, but Belgium tactically brought the ball into the corner to run time off of the clock and maintain the two-goal lead.
Belgium will move on to play the winner of the Netherlands vs. Australia on Tuesday.
Argentina Deals Spain Dramatic 2-1 Loss
Argentina handed Spain a heartbreaking 2-1 loss in the quarterfinal round after scoring in the final two minutes of play.
A controversial incident on an Argentina penalty corner went in favor of Los Leones. They were awarded a penalty stroke, and Juan Gilardi stepped up to deliver his first goal of the Olympic tournament that sent his team to the semifinal round.
As time expired in the first quarter, penalty corner specialist Gonzalo Peillat put Argentina up 1-0. Spain, dealing with an injury on the defensive end, fought back after a dismal start and came out of halftime energized.
Earning corner after corner, they finally executed when drag flick expert Pau Quemada delivered the equalizer with just under four minutes left in the game.
What looked like a sure path to a penalty shootout all changed with a minute and a half left when the ball was controversially blocked by a Spain defender.
Enter Gilardi, whose heroic goal stunned Spain and kept Argentina’s medal hopes alive.
Argentina will move on to play the winner of Germany vs. New Zealand on Tuesday.
For full results of Sunday's games, click here.