Last-gasp goals fuel German belief in men's field hockey

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) With 5 minutes left, Moritz Furste thought he was playing his last game for Germany.

With 40 seconds left, he was mentally tuning in for a draw.

And with time up, he was as stunned as everyone else at the Olympic Hockey Stadium.

At 2-0 down against New Zealand in the men's field hockey quarterfinals, Germany leveled on Furste's penalty corner goals in the 56th and last minutes, the latter with 41 seconds to go. Then they counter-attacked, and a right cross threaded past five Kiwis before Florian Fuchs dived to guide it in with 1 second left.

''Unbelievable,'' Furste said.

''Crazy,'' Fuchs added.

Not for the first time in Rio de Janeiro, Germany escaped defeat and stayed in the hunt for a third straight Olympic gold medal.

In the pool stage, in which the Germans finished unbeaten, they hurt India and Argentina with last-gasp goals, too.

''We never give up,'' Furste said. ''As long as there are seconds on the clock we will keep playing.''

India was beaten 2-1 with 3 seconds left, when Martin Haner's low, powerful pass through the center of the defense was deflected in by Christopher Ruhr.

Argentina was drawn 4-4 with 8 seconds to go, when Mathias Muller fired in a penalty corner.

Rather than worry about the close shaves, the Germans think the results fuel their belief that they will prevail.

''We have to take the effort and all the emotions we had in this game back into the semifinal (against Argentina on Tuesday),'' Fuchs said. ''Such a win pumps up the team a lot, and this can help winning the semifinal as well.''

New Zealand captain Simon Child said his side was devastated at missing out on their first medal rounds in 40 years.

''The Germans showed why they're the two-time Olympic champs,'' Child said. ''They make every second count.''

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.