The Netherlands men took the Gold medal in the men’s final of the Indoor Hockey World Cup thanks to a 3-2 triumph against Austria. The result means that it is a double Dutch success in Leipzig, with men’s success coming hot on the heels of the women’s stunning shoot-out win over host nation Germany.
The Dutchmen opened up a two-goal lead inside ten minutes thanks to penalty corner efforts from Bjorn Kellerman and Robert Tigges, before Dominic Uher pulled a goal back for the Austrians on the stroke of half time. Robbert van de Peppel restored a two-goal advantage for the Netherlands three minutes after the break, with Austria’s Sebastian Eitenberger scoring four minutes from time to set up a tense finale.
Austria won two late penalty corners, but both were brilliantly charge down by brilliant Netherlands shot-stopper Laurens Goedegeburre, who was named goalkeeper of the tournament. The final save sparked wild celebrations from the Dutch players, knowing that they had won their first indoor world title at the expense of their devastated Austrian opponents.
Netherlands captain Robert Tigges was overjoyed with the victory, singling out Goedegeburre for special praise. “Our goalie was amazing throughout the tournament. I still cannot believe that we have won it, I feel like I am living a dream. To win a tournament like this you need to have all of the luck on your side, and that is what we had.”
It was a tough defeat for Austrian captain Benjamin Stanzl, whose exceptional performances in Leipzig earned him the men’s Player of the Tournament award. “We should have converted our penalty corner chances, which are usually our strength”, said Stanzl. “It wasn’t enough for this level. However, we will take a lot of self-confidence out of this, which should help us when we compete in the Hockey World League Round 2 event in California in a few weeks time, where we hope to qualify for Round 3.”
Player of the Tournament: Benjamin Stanzl (AUT)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Laurens Goedegebuure (NED)
Junior Player of the Tournament: Timm Herzbruch (GER)
Top Scorer: Alexander Otte (GER) – 19 goals
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