Defending champion India knocked out of Sultan of Johor Cup 2023 after a 3-6 loss to Germany in semifinal

India suffered a 3-6 loss to Germany to get knocked out of the Sultan of Johor Cup 2023 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Sultan of Johor Cup on Friday.

Published : Nov 03, 2023 17:22 IST , Johor Bahru (Malaysia) - 2 MINS READ

File photo: The Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team lost to Germany, which will face either Australia or Pakistan in the final.
File photo: The Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team lost to Germany, which will face either Australia or Pakistan in the final. | Photo Credit: PTI
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File photo: The Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team lost to Germany, which will face either Australia or Pakistan in the final. | Photo Credit: PTI

Three-time champion India failed to defend their Sultan of Johor Cup junior hockey title, losing 3-6 to World No. 2 Germany in the semifinal here on Friday.

Christian Franz (16th minute), Nikas Berendts (29th, 45th), Peer Hinrichs (43rd, 48th), and Sperling Florian (49th) found the back of the net for the Germans, who produced a dominating display.

India’s goals were scored by Amandeep Lakra (35th), Uttam Singh (58th) and Rohit (60th).

The Indians started on the front foot, threatening Joshua Onyekwue Nnaji’s goal on a couple of occasions in the opening minutes. But Germany had the first shot on target as Ben Hasbach’s snapshot was deflected out by India goalkeeper Mohith HS.

A period of German dominance followed as it pinned India in its own half in search of the opening goal, and it was captain Matteo Poljaric who looked to test Mohith, whose vigilance ensured the first quarter ended goalless.

Franz scored in the very first minute of the second quarter, flashing a shot past Mohith after a string of passes in the circle.

The Indian colts seldom found opportunities to test Joshua in goal as Germany continued to pile on the pressure in the rest of the quarter.

And as the first half was winding up, it was Berendts’s flick from a penalty corner that breached India’s goal for the second time in the match.

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India found its footing in the third quarter, forcing a series of penalty corners and it was Amandeep’s flick that found the back of the net to reduce the deficit.

But the joy was short lived as Hinrichs netted the ball in after a goal mouth melee to extend Germany’s lead. This was quickly followed by another goal, by Berendts, towards the end of the quarter.

The German onslaught continued in the last quarter with Hinrichs doubling his tally after a thunderous flick from a penalty corner.

Soon after, Florian chipped the ball over Mohith from close range to make it 6-1 in Germany’s favour.

As the intensity of the game dropped, Uttam deflected a long cross to score India’s second goal, while Rohit scored from a penalty corner in the last minute of the game.

India will face the losing side from the match between Australia and Pakistan in the third-fourth place play-off match on Saturday

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