Germany finish 6th after 4-2 defeat at the hands of European rivals Belgium
Result Men's 5/6th: Belgium v Germany 4-2 (2-1)
A stunning strike from Sebastien Dockier helped Belgium's Red Lions to a fifth place finish at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, securing a 4-2 victory over reigning Olympic Champions Germany in a breath-taking 5-6 classification match.
Dockier's fabulous backhand strike from a seemingly impossible angle gave Belgium a two goal advantage with only five minutes remaining, condemning world number 2 Germany to a 6th place finish here in the Hague.
Speaking of his remarkable goal, Dockier said: "I just didn't hesitate. I saw the ball in front of my foot so I thought I'd just shoot. I think second half Germany really wanted to score which created more space for us. We are very happy."
For the second successive game Belgium were missing double Olympian Felix Denayer, who has been struggling in recent days with an inner ear problem. The absence of Denayer's quality and experience may have been a contributing factor to Belgium's unusually slow start, with Germany being the first team to make a dent on the scoreboard thanks to an 18th minute penalty corner. Legendary striker Christopher Zeller made no mistake with his drag-flick, sending it into the roof of the Belgian net to give the Olympic Champions a 1-0 lead over their European rivals.
Belgium responded positively and almost grabbed an immediate equaliser when Dockier drilled a high shot towards goal, but Germany keeper Nico Jacobi stuck out a big left glove to bat the ball away to safety.
Belgium scored a deserved equaliser following a period of sustained pressure on the Germany goal. Tom Boon was creator and scorer, being bundled over before sending a ripping penalty corner into the bottom left corner of Jacobi's goal ten minutes before half time.
Germany certainly had the better of the chances in the closing stages of the first period, with Belgian shot-stopper Vincent Vanasch denying Christopher Rühr's brilliant backhand shot either side of missed chances from Mats Grambusch and Thilo Stralkowski. However, those missed opportunities proved to be costly when Tanguy Cosyns rattled home a penalty corner to give Belgium a 2-1 lead four minutes into the second half.
The Olympic Champions raised their game forced the Red Lions onto the back foot and drew level in the 56th minute when 2012 FIH Young Player of the Year Florian Fuchs cracked home a tomahawk effort. However, Belgium's lead was restored just three minutes later, with Florent van Aubel rounding off a slick passing move with a cool finish.
The game was put beyond Germany's reach by a truly magnificent strike from Dockier, who smashed a sensational backhand shot into the roof of Nico Jacobi's net from the tightest of angles. It was a goal worthy of winning any match, and sealed a famous victory for Belgium over their illustrious European rivals.Official Match Report (PDF)