France scripted history by booking their berth in the summit clash of the World Cup for the first time, defeating Malaysia via penalty shoot-out in the first semi-final of the quadrennial event. (Agencies)
France, who never went past the pool stages since the introduction of the event in 1979, showed tremendous fighting spirit and came from a goal down to beat Malaysia 3-1 in the shoot-out after both the teams were locked at 1-1 at the end of regulation 70 minutes.
It was a red letter day for French hockey as till date their best performance in the tournament was a seventh place finish at home in the introductory edition of the event in 1979.
But it won't be easy for the French as in Germany a mighty opponent awaits them in the final, and come Sunday the Germans would fancy a record sixth world title.
Holders Germany rode on two penalty corner conversions from Lukas Windfeder (4th minute, 14th) and field goals from Christopher Ruhr (47th), Timur Oruz (66th) and Niklas Wellen to beat last edition's silver medallist Netherlands 5-3 in the thrilling second semifinal.
But accolades must also go to the Dutch as they came from three goals down to level the scores in the final 10 minutes. For Netherlands, Tom Hiebendaal (49th, 60th) scored from two penalty strokes, while the other came via field effort from Tierry Brinkman's stick.
Netherlands will lock horns against Malaysia in the bronze medal match on Sunday.
France scripted history by booking their berth in the summit clash of the World Cup for the first time, defeating Malaysia via penalty shoot-out in the first semi-final of the quadrennial event.