Hockey World Cup: Germany's mentality monsters beat world's best Australia to reach final

Niklas Wellen leads the celebrations after his last minute winner for Germany vs Australia. WorldSportPics/Frank Uijlenbroek)

"F***! My heart is exploding! I told my boys 'next time can we find some other way to win than in the last two seconds?'"

Just as they had in their quarterfinal against England, Germany left it late against Australia. Speaking to the press, hattrick hero Gonzalo Peillat, once of Argentina, summed it all up perfectly.

In both games, Germany came back from two goals down to win the games. Against England it was them scoring twice in the last three minutes and then winning the shootout. Against the world no. 1 side Australia, it was them scoring four goals in the second-half, two in the last two minutes to win the match 4-3.

The kind of team Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp would call 'Mentality monsters.'

In the first half, it had been all Australia: Jermey Hayward scored from a penalty corner in the first quarter. Nathan Ephraums netted from a close range to make it 2-0 in the second quarter. Routine for the world's best team.

Germany had more possession, but they were being 'very polite' with their chances as head coach Andre Henning described it in the half-time break. He wanted his team to play rough and play tough. He wanted them to school the Australians using their own gameplan.

"He was completely right. We were polite, especially inside the D," said skipper Mats Grambusch said in the post-match press conference. "There were too many chances we had but we just didn't take it. We were dribbling and stuff like that. We wanted to go towards the target, which we didn't do in the first quarter. On top of that, our defending duels were also polite. I felt in the first half we stepped back a little."

In the second-half, they upped their ante and then some. A clear indicator? Germany earned eight penalty corners. After four consecutive penalty corner blocks by the Aussies, Peillat finally found the goal with his fifth hit. Germany then needed another six penalty corners to find the equaliser. It was Peillat again with a superb conversion to make it 2-2 in the 51st minute.

It seemed Germany had done their job to take the match into a shootout. Only for Australia to convert their penalty corner chance, a fierce shot from Blake Govers to make it 3-2 with three minutes to go.

That should have been it, but Peillat got a chance to respond and completed his hat trick with a successful PC conversion.

And then, drama.

With six seconds to go, Niklas Wellen, lurking near the goal post, got the ball perfectly and there was no way he was missing from that close a range. Australia, who had five successful reviews in the match, pinged their hope on getting one last referral right. But it was not meant to be.

"It was crazy. It was a different game than the quarterfinal against England because we were not playing that well against England," said Wellen. "I think we were dominant today. We have trust in each other. We conceded with two minutes to go but we knew if we get one chance, we'll score. I think we want to celebrate tonight and have a good feeling but we're not done."

Come Sunday, Belgium, the defending champions, await this inevitable machine... these mentality monsters who are determined to make their first final in 12 years count.