Hockey: India loses 2-0 to Germany

India came up short in an action-packed encounter on Tuesday at the three-nations invitational tournament.

India has four points from its outings in the tournament.   -  S. S. Kumar (Representative Image)

Host Germany overpowered the Indian men’s hockey team 2-0 in an action-packed encounter to end its campaign at the three-nations invitational tournament on a winning note here on Tuesday.

Germany had previously won 2-1 against Belgium, drew 2-2 with India and lost 5-2 to Belgium in its opening match. It finished with seven points while India earned four points from its outings.

Though India began well and won a penalty corner as early as the second minute of the match, the German defence was too good to break for young dragflicker Harmanpreet Singh, who had scored a double in India’s 3-2 win against Belgium on Monday. The following minutes of the first quarter saw Germany, the bronze medallist at Rio Olympics, showcase an improvised execution of attack and ball possession to take early control of the match.

It came up with different variations to make space in the striking circle and found success with Thies Ole Prinz perfectly deflecting the ball into the post in the seventh minute to take Germany’s score to 1-0. Though it earned a penalty corner seconds before the first hooter, Germany couldn’t convert the shot as India keeper Akash Chikte came up with a good save.

Indians played the second quarter patiently, rotating the ball between themselves and waiting for an opening in the German defence. After several circle penetrations, India bagged its second penalty corner of the game in the 29th minute. The opportunity went amiss, though, and the first half ended with a 1-0 advantage to Germany.

After a goalless third quarter, India continued to stand up to the German challenge, getting closer each time to finding a breakthrough. An opportunity came by with a little over three minutes left for the final hooter when India won another penalty corner but Harmanpreet Singh’s fiercely struck flick was defended by the German goalkeeper.

India pulled out its goalkeeper to play with an extra attacker but could not materialise. Germany, meanwhile, succeeded in pumping its second goal in the 60th minute, thanks to Timm Herzbruch.

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