Germany marked its return to the 11th Sultan of Johor Cup 2023 after a decade in style, defeating South Africa 6-1 convincingly in a Group A match at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Bahru today.
The Taman Daya Hockey Stadium brings sweet memories to the Germans, ranked World No 2. It was on this 5000-capacity stadium that they clinched the 5th Junior World Cup title on June 21, 2009, defeating Holland 3-1 in the final. The Germans went on to win the Junior World Cup title six times and finished runners-up to Argentina in the last World Cup.
In 2012, the Germans made their debut in the second edition of SOJC, and returned home with the coveted trophy following a close 3-2 victory over India in the final.
They have arrived once again with strong credentials by winning a junior four-nation tournament in Dusseeldorf. The manner in which they triumphed 6-1 against high-riding India in the final speaks of their lion’s appetite for more victories.
Germany head coach Rein van Eijk said he is happy at the final outcome of the match as the results are fairly acceptable considering the pressure his side had to go through in the first quarter.
“It was more compact and we increased the tempo in the second quarter which saw the goals coming in. The South Africans were playing well today and we just had the pressure piled on them. We will now look back and try to improve our game for the next march against Great Britain on Tuesday,” he said.
Germany’s midfielder Florian Sperling was adjudged Man of the Match.
South African goalkeeper Gianluca Virissimo obviously had a field day keeping the marauding German attacking machinery at bay but his efforts went in vain. Germany scored five field goals and one penalty corner conversion.
Liam Holdermann started the goal rush in the 18th minute, followed by Matteo Poljaric (21st), Luis Hoechemer (31st), Florian Sperling (37th). and a double strike from Ben Hasback (38th and 54th minutes), announcing that they are the most dangerous side in this tournament. The South Africans, who could only score in the 58th minute via Caleb Quphant’s field goal, were rather unlucky. They muffed two penalty corner opportunities in the first quarter and had they scored early in the game the