Huge crowds savour German success in Euro indoors

Germany won their four men’s EuroHockey Indoor Championships title in five editions as they delighted over 10,000 fans over three days of action in Berlin.

The indoor Honamas took revenge with a 6-3 success over Austria, avenging their final defeat from the 2018 World Cup with Rot-Weiss Köln’s Thies Ole Prinz winning the player of the tournament.

Austria’s goalkeeper Mateusz Szymczyk – from SV Arminen – received the award for best goalkeeper while Austria’s Michael Körper (Harvestehuder HTC) and the Netherlands’ Boris Burkhardt (AH&BC Amsterdam) were joint top scorers.

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German coach Valentin Altenburg said of the success: “This title is an incredible joint effort by the whole hockey family because without them, you can’t do it. The national association, volunteers and full-time officials have contributed to this. 

“Indoor hockey, as we saw again today, is an incredibly attractive sport that we should pay more attention to if possible. And if this was supposed to be a B-team, I would now only like to train B-teams!”

His captain Paul Dösch added: “It was an unforgettable experience here in Berlin in front of a sold-out Halle and becoming European champion. It was great fun playing in front of this audience, warming up and scoring goals.”

In the final in front of 3,500 fans, Austria got off to a great start, netting inside 30 seconds via Körper from a corner. Dösch hit the crossbar soon after but Prinz was fouled soon to earn a stroke with the skipper scoring from the spot.

Shortly before the end of the first quarter, Raphael Hartkopf took a yellow card but Germany survived the out-numbered without harm. The Germans went in front in the second quarter when UHC Hamburg team mates Jan Philipp Rabente and Philip Schmid combined to put the Honamas in front for the first time.

Prinz stretched the lead out to 3-1 in the second half but Körper cut the gap with his second of the game, leaving it poised at 3-2 with the final quarter to play.

There, Germany finally took control with Hartkopf and Dösch building a 5-2 advantage. Fabian Unterkicher kept life in the game with eight minutes left but Uhlenhorst Mülheim’s Jan Schiffer got a killer sixth goal for a 6-3 success.

The Netherlands, meanwhile, beat Russia 11-3 in the bronze medal match with Burkhardt scoring four times with two goals each from Jochem Bakker and Nicki Leijs.