Monday, 2 June 2014 | MYT 3:38 PM
Germans, Dutch and Kiwis setting early pace
Germany’s Christopher Ruhr (right) fights for the ball with South Africa’s Jan Pilipp Rabente during a hockey World Cup match on June 1, 2014. Germany won 4-0. - AFP
THE HAGUE: Germany, Holland and New Zealand are the early pacesetters in Group B of the World Cup and are likely to consolidate their positions when they go into action at the Kyocera Stadium on Tuesday.
Germany, the group leaders after a comprehensive 4-0 win over South Africa in their opening match on Sunday, will play Argentina.
The Germans are an accomplished side and should bag full points against the South American champions.
The Germans dominated play against the South Africans, but the goals only flowed late in the match.
Germany’s Christopher Ruhr, the 2013 FIH Young Player of the Year, said getting full points was what mattered, especially in the opening match.
He praised his team for their patience and perseverance against South Africa.
“We are heading in the right direction. The South Africans defended well, so we are pleased with the result.
“What matters now is to keep the momentum going and move forward with each match,” said Ruhr.
The Germans are making their 13th appearance in the World Cup and have qualified for the semi-finals in all the last 12 Finals.
As for New Zealand, they edged Asian champions South Korea 2-1 with a last-minute goal.
Phillip Burrows was the hero, scoring the winning goal in the 69th minute.
Said Burrows: “There are some games you have to grind out a result. I was mighty relieved to score the winner. It was a hard and tiring game.
“The Koreans are a tough bunch to play against. We are really pleased to have got three points on the board and we are looking forward to the next game now,” he said.
Next up for New Zealand is South Africa.
Hosts Holland were the other winners on Sunday, beating Argentina 3-1. The Dutch face the Koreans next and are tipped to get maximum points again.
Holland are ranked at No.3 in the world while the Koreans are at No. 7.
By the end of the day, the group frontrunners will be more clear cut.