Korper and Austria shoot to Indoor World Cup and Euro double glory

©: Frank Uijlenbroek/world Sport Pics

Michael Korper held his nerve both in normal time and in a shoot-out to fire Austria to the Indoor World Cup title, making it an amazing double as they added to the EuroHockey crown won in January.

Austria's goalkeeper Mateusz Szymczyk also performed heroics as he saved two sudden death penalties from Tobias Hauke and Christopher Rühr.

It was a bittersweet day for Rühr. He was voted Best Player and was also top scorer, beating closest rival Körper by 19 goals to 17. Best goalkeeper went to Sasan Hataminejad of Iran and Rising Player award went to Fabian Unterkircher.

In the bronze medal match, Iran made history as they became the first non-European team to win a medal at the Indoor Hockey World Cup. The hugely talented Iranian team beat Australia with a classy display of passing hockey.

History continued to be made as the venue, the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin played host to the biggest ever audience for a World Cup – 8,000 people passed through the gates to cheer their teams on.

In the final, Austria had to come back from a big deficit to earn their shoot-out chance. Early on, the hosts were well on top.

It was six minutes before a goal was scored and it was one that delighted the crowds. Germany won two penalty corners in quick succession and, although Rühr saw his shot well-saved by Mateusz Szymczyk in the Austrian goal, the second penalty corner was dispatched with deadly accuracy by captain Martin Häner.

Just a minute later and Martin Zwicker added a second. His goal was the result of fine individual skill as he pulled the ball back and then lifted it past Szymczyk.

Austria responded to this in the best way possible, with Dominic Uher rattling home a penalty corner in the ninth minute to bring the score to 2-1.

Five minutes into the second half and Rühr added to the scoreline. He rattled home a penalty corner and as he roared in celebration it was clear just how much was invested emotionally in this match.

One thing was always certain, as EuroHockey Champions, Austria were not done yet. It was fitting that Körper should score and he added to his own tally and brought his team back into the game with seven minutes left on the clock.

With a few seconds on the clock Körper scored from a penalty corner and sent the match into shoot-out.

Both 'keepers have been outstanding all tournament and so they continued to perform as they took centre stage. At the end of the first round it stood at 2-2 and sudden death beckoned.

After a save apiece, it was Hauke's turn. His attempt was saved and it was almost a given that Michael Körper would be the player to seal champion status for Austria.