FIH Pro League: 4 games, 4 wins
February 21, 2022
The German men were the only team to win all four games at the Pro-League event in South Africa, which was played in tournament form for the first time. After the 3:2 and 4:2 over France and the 6:1 in the first South Africa game, the Honamas won their second game against the hosts on Monday evening with a deserved 3:1 (2:0). Christopher Ruhr and Malte Hellwig from the penalty spot as well as Paul Kaufmann scored for André Henning’s team, which climbed to second place in the current Pro League table.
The hosts started very well, had two good chances through HTHCer Nqobile Ntuli, but Alexander Stadler made great saves both times. Only after about five minutes did the Honamas slowly come into play, both on the defensive and in the build-up. Malte Hellwig took the first corner in the 9th minute, but Justus Weigand flicked just to the left of the goal. Thies Ole Prinz then tested keeper Estiaan Kriek with a free forehand shot from the left. Shortly thereafter there was the second corner for the DHB team, in which the referee herself took video evidence of a seven-metre throw, because Moritz Ludwig’s follow-up shot hit a defender’s leg and the goal behind it was free.
The seven-meter penalty that was then actually due was converted by Christopher Ruhr flat on the bottom left to make it 0:1 (11th). The German attacks continued. Stir soon had a big chance, but Kriek was spot on. Then again a better phase of the hosts, who also came well into the German circle, but not really dangerous at the end.
There was a lot of back and forth at the beginning of the second quarter. South Africa played well. However, the Germans somewhat more effective. Constantin Staib was awarded a corner, against which South Africa successfully took video evidence (20′). Bad luck when, after a nice change of sides and a cross from Moritz Ludwig, both Mats Grambusch and Niklas Wellen missed the ball directly in front of goal (24th).
When Horne didn’t keep his distance, Honamas took the next corner (25′), where Jones, who was in goal in the second quarter, brilliantly parried Paul Dösch’s flick and then Thies Ole Prinz’s follow-up shot. Shortly thereafter, the next corner, which Jones again saved very well. The South Africans flared up again and again, but the Germans missed a number of chances. A clear push against waves in a circle gave the second seven meters for the DHB team via video evidence, which this time Malte Hellwig used hard and placed to make it 0:2. In the 29th minute, Stadler had to intervene again after a long time from a dangerous cross and did so confidently
Only in the final phase a bit shaky
After the break, Niklas Garst made his second international appearance for Alexander Stadler. An elbow check by Keenan Horne against Martin Zwicker was not penalized by the referees (33′). Shortly thereafter, Hellwig had a shot from a tight angle, but just missed the goal on the left. On the other hand, Paul Dösch saw a yellow card for a much more harmless foul against Mustaphaa Cassiem from Gladbach (35th). The Germans were outnumbered for five minutes.
Shortly thereafter, Sherwood had to go to the bench with the green, suddenly creating a lot of space on the field. When Sherwood was back, Garst was able to make a good save for the first time against a backhand shot by Cassiem (39′). Staib was then heavily fouled on the counterattack and Tyson Dlungwana had to go to the penalty box with a yellow card (42nd). Hellwig could have blocked a shot from Mats Grambusch in goal, but missed it just to the right (44th). A 3D dribble by Prinz brought the next chance, but his shot on goal didn’t go towards the goal and was whistled off as dangerous.
Kriek then held back against a stirring shot. But shortly thereafter, the fourth corner for the Honamas (45th), which Malte Hellwig set from the left bank against the left outer post. Hellwig took the fifth corner shortly after the restart, with which Hellwig failed at Jones, but publisher Matias Müller put the rebound across to Paul Kaufmann, who smashed in to make it 0:3 (46th).
In the next attack, South Africa also got the first corner of the game, but Moritz Ludwig cleared it out of goal. Shortly thereafter, after a dangerous defense by Hannes Müller, the second RSA corner (48th) was scored by Connor Beauchamp high under the bar to make it 1:3. A nice attack on the right put Hellwig in position, but he was pressed too hard when he shot (52′).
There was a controversial third corner for South Africa in the 55th minute, against which the Germans were too late to take the video evidence. Stir ran off the corner but strong. Weigand caught a ball very strongly, but didn’t finish it. The Germans had the match more clearly under control in the final phase and didn’t let anything burn. A last attack put Weigand in the stabbing position again, but it stayed at 3:1.
We have chances to score in two games in the second and third quarters, so we could have scored six or seven goals. – National coach André Henning
0:1 Christopher Rühr (7m, 11th)
0:2 Malte Hellwig (7m, 28th)
0:3 Paul Kaufmann (46th)
1:3 Connor Beauchamp (KE, 48th)
RSA 3 (1 goal) / GER 5 (no goals)
RSA – / GER 2 (2 goals)
Sean Rapaport / Wanri Venter (both RSA)
FIH Pro League Results in Potchefstroom:
Wednesday 16 February, 7 p.m.: France 2-3 Germany (0-1)
Thursday 17 February, 7 p.m.: South Africa 1-6 Germany (1-1)
Saturday 19 February, 7 p.m.: France 2-4 Germany (0-0)
Monday, February 21, 7 p.m.: South Africa – Germany 1: 3 (0: 2)
votes on the game
National coach André Henning : “It was a good game for long periods, not a very good one. We have chances to score in two games in the second and third quarters, so we could have scored six or seven goals. But we were a bit unlucky today with two hits against the post. In the closing stages, I wish we could finish it more confidently. We’ll take that as homework for the next few weeks. But it was certainly also due to the fact that the boys’ tanks were a bit empty after the long course.”
Captain Mats Grambusch , who was named Player of the Match: “I’m very happy with the twelve points we took here. There have been so many changes in the team lately after the Olympics – the coaching staff, some top performers who left, a few injured who are missing here – that to have four wins here is a good achievement.”
Goal scorer Malte Hellwig : “All in all, I can be absolutely satisfied with the course and the four games. We lacked a bit of energy and consistency in some phases today, so this was probably the weakest of the four games.”