The German hockey team defeated New Zealand in a Pool B World Cup match to keep its semifinals hopes alive, while the Netherlands thrashed South Africa in a goal fest at The Hague on Sunday.
Germany signalled their rival in the tournament by beating New Zealand 5-3 at the Kyocera Stadium. The Olympic champions have six points in four matches with one game in hand, but they are dependent on other results to qualify for the last-four stage.
Florian Fuchs gave Germany a flying start and scored in the second minute, when he riffled a bouncing ball past Devon Manchester. Just when it seemed that Germany will rush away with the game, the Black Sticks displayed a spirited performance.
They came close to score with Andy Hayward, but goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi stopped his drag flick. Later, Hugo Inglis got an aerial pass from Simon Child, but failed to beat Jacobi, who made some incredible saves in the tie.
Martin Zwicker pierced New Zealand's defence and added second goal for Germany in the 31st minute. The Black Sticks pulled one back when a thunderous drag flick from Hayward whistled into the goal, two minutes later.
Just at the stroke of half-time, Germany scored their third when Christopher Zeller converted a penalty corner and made it 3-1. Zwicker scored his second goal in the 40th minute on a pass of Tobias Hauke and Benedict Furk scored the fifth goal.
The Black Sticks, however, didn't give up and scored two more goals through Hayward, who completed his hattrick, in the 67th and 70th minutes respectively, but the lead proved to be too big to cut off and Germany got all three points from the tie.
"Obviously I was not pleased that we conceded goals in the last minutes and that is something that we must look at," German coach Markus Weise said. "But I am pleased that we put our goals away. That might change our momentum."
Meanwhile, Netherlands ousted South Africa 7-1 to build a massive goal difference over the other teams in the Pool B. The Lads, however, tried to put a fight against the hosts, but they left wide areas for counterattack and paid the price.
Seve van Ass opened the scoring when his shot flew past Erasmus Pieterse into the goal. Valentin Verga scored the second goal on a reverse stick shot, Jeroen Hertzberger tripled the lead in 23rd minute through a penalty corner and Robbert Kemperman scored the fourth just before the half-time.
Kemperman scored his second in the 38th minute and Billy Bakker made it 6-0 just three minutes later. South Africa scored a consolation goal in the 61st minute through Reid-Ross on a penalty corner. In the 64th minute, Sander Baart completed the super-seven for the Orange-brigade.
In another Pool B encounter, South Korea proved to be a no match for Argentina, as they were defeated 5-0 at the Kyocera Stadium. Argentine men just need a victory in their last match against South Africa to reach the semifinals of the tournament.
Gonzalo Peillat scored a hattrick in the first 19 minutes, while Lucas Vila (12th minute) and Guillermo Schickendantz (54th minute) were the other goal scorers.
"We are taking this one game at a time, so now we focus on South Africa," Argentina's Agustin Mazzilli said. "Today was probably our best performance because while we were scoring goals, we also defended very well and that has not always been the case. We also started brilliantly and that is always important."