TERRASA (dpa) – After the bitter defeat on penalties 2:4 in the World Cup semi-final against Argentina, the German hockey women shed tears.
But less than 19 hours after the title-shattered dream, the team must play again on Sunday (6.30pm) in the third-place play-off against Australia at the Terrassa Olympic Stadium. “It’s very disappointing now, because we have Argentina where we wanted it to be,” said goalkeeper Julia Sontag, who saved the European champions runner-up with a solid save in the final stage of the penalty shootout. “We have to regenerate quickly and define that, that’s the art now.”
Germany played their best match of the tournament so far on Saturday night and took the lead after just 28 seconds thanks to Hanna Granitzky’s penalty kick. Although the Olympic bronze medalist turned the game around in the first half, national coach Valentin Altenberg’s side continued to push ahead and was rewarded in the third quarter with Charlotte Stappenhorst’s 2-2 draw.
“We want to reward ourselves with a medal”
“I’m very proud,” said Altenberg, who was also disappointed by missing the final since 1986. “The girls kept going, it was a strong, stable and refreshing performance, everyone gave their best on a personal level.” “We all have tears in our eyes and together we grieve that it wasn’t enough.”
“We wanted to defend 1A and then play straight forward, and we pushed that until the last minute,” said captain Nike Lorenz, who missed the penalty. In the early stages in particular, the fourth place in the world rankings had many opportunities to score, but he did not use them. Cecil Piper added, “We can be really proud of what we’ve achieved. Now we can still be heartbroken, and then we’ll focus all our energy on the third-place match. We want to reward ourselves with a medal.”
Its opponents, Australia, lost 1-0 to the defending champions Holland, coached by former national coach Jamilon Mulders. “We’ll be back and playing well again, today showed us where we need to be better,” said Altenberg, whose team wants to get on the podium again for the first time in 24 years.
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