Germany and Austria head groups at indoor World Cup

©: Frank Uijlenbroek/world Sport Pics



Hosts Germany are leading the way with an unbeaten record at the men’s indoor hockey World Cup in Berlin with European champions Austria also in great form and on course for the playoff places.

Austria's 8-4 demolition of Russia (WR:4) included a classy display from Michael Korper who scored four goals in the match.

It wasn't all plain sailing for the world number one team on the second day of indoor hockey action. In Germany's opening game, they were hard pushed by the Czech Republic who led for large periods of the match.

In the final ten minutes, three goals in four minutes from Mats Grambusch helped Germany over the winning line. In the host nation's second match, Poland also pushed hard to breach the German defence and the 6-3 game was a real thriller that had the near-capacity crowd roaring their support.

Germany had taken a 5-1 lead but Poland brought it back to 5-3 and there were some nervous minutes before Grambusch sealed the victory in the last minute of the game.

Poland might have been felled by Germany but earlier in the day they went on a goal-scoring spree when they fired 11 goals past Kazakhstan. Four of the goals came from Tomasz Gorny as a shaky Kazakhstan defence gave him room to manoeuvre and the prolific player needed no second invitation.

While Germany clearly top Pool A, the chasing teams are tightly packed. Day Two results leaves Czech Republic in second place ahead of Australia on goal difference and Poland one point behind in fourth place but the final fixtures of the pool stage could turn these placements on their heads. Trinidad & Tobago have kept their quarter-final hopes alive but by the slimmest of threads.

In Pool B, Austria pretty much through with Iran next best placed in second while Russia, Switzerland and Belgium have a scrap on for the last two spots.