Hockey World Cup: Brother power comes to the fore as Germany ‘Grambusch’ England

BHUBANESWAR: Brothers playing for the same national team is not new but siblings scoring goals in the same match is rare. The Grambusch brothers — Mats and Tom — achieved the distinction in the FIH Men’s World Cup quarter-final, helping Germany rally from a 0-2 deficit to take the match against England into penalty shootout.

Germany then won the shootout 4-3 to set up a semi-final clash against Australia on Friday. Mats and his younger brother Tom scored a goal each with just two-and-a-half minutes left in the match, sending the capacity crowd at the Kalinga Stadium into a tizzy.

Mats scored in the 57th minute and, a minute later, asked Tom to take the penalty stroke after Christopher Ruhr had missed from the spot just a few minutes ago.
Tom repaid his elder brother’s trust by scoring the equaliser to take the match into penalty shootout where the ‘Die Honamas’ won 4-3 in a match which England captain described as a “cruel” one.

An ecstatic Tom punched the air while Mats and the other team-mates converged to celebrate the sensational comeback. Asked why his elder brother asked him to take the penalty stroke, Tom said there was no favouritism. “Christie (Christopher Ruhr) took the first one and missed. Then we switched because I am the second penalty-stroke taker in the team. So, Mats told me to take it and I did.

“Luckily, I scored. My mom must be proud as both of us scored. They were watching on TV,” the 27-year-old six-feet tall defender told PTI.

Mats and Tom hail from Monchengladbach, which had hosted the FIH Men’s World Cup in 2006. They have studied in the same college and currently play for the same club, Rot-Weiss Koln, in Cologne. “Tom started his international career in 2016. So, it was in February 2016 when we first played together for the national team and then we played together in the 2016 Rio Olympics,” Mats said.

“I started a little bit early (in 2011) as I am a little bit older. We are also playing for the same club now,” said the 30-year-old midfielder. Asked how their parents would react to the feat, Mats said, “They will probably scream first and then one of them will have tears of joy. “Me and Tom scored the goals to take Germany to victory. We have taken the team to the semi-finals. They (parents) would not have been prouder than this.

“All said and done, it is a team game and we are happy to have helped our country win the match and enter the semi-finals. That is more important.” The Spanish and Wales sides in this edition of the World Cup too have siblings in their squads. While Spain have the Cunill brothers, Pau and Pepe, Wales have the Furlong siblings, Gareth and Rohdri. Spain lost to Australia 3-4 in the quarter-finals, while Wales were eliminated early, finishing fourth and last in their pool.

The Indian gold-winning teams at the 1932 and 1936 Olympics had brothers Dhyan Chand and Roop Chand playing together. Gurbax Singh and Balbir Singh Grewal were part of the same India team that won bronze at the 1968 Olympics. Brothers Harmik Singh and Ajit Singh also won a bronze medal in the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Source: TIMESOFINDIA.COM | January 26,2023