Women's hockey at Tokyo 2020: India beaten again, this time by Germany

Showing vast signs of improvement from the opening 5-1 loss to The Netherlands, Sjoerd Marijne’s side played a high-intensity game for the large part of the contest but could not beat the Germans on pace and precision.

Rani Rampal of India in action against Amelie Wortmann of Germany in Tokyo on Monday.   -  REUTERS

The Indian women's hockey team put up a brave fight but failed to take their chances as it lost 2-0 to Germany in their Pool A encounter at the Oi Hockey Stadium here.

Showing vast signs of improvement from their opening 5-1 loss to The Netherlands, Sjoerd Marijne’s side played a high-intensity game for the large part of the contest. The Indians began well and showed early glimpses of an attacking style of play, but were soon left to chase the ball as Germany settled in and dominated possession. India goalkeeper Savita Punia was kept on her toes from the get-go but could do nothing to stop Nike Lorenz’s venomous flick from a penalty corner.

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The 12th-minute goal gave Germany the early advantage and saw the side seize control of the game. The German defence shut out any attack attempted by the Indians, while the forwards piled forward. Germany, the 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medallist, won a penalty stroke early in the second quarter when Gurjit Kaur's tackle on Cecile Pieper saw the referee award a penalty, but the Indians referred the decision and had it reversed.

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Indian had a golden chance to equalise in the third quarter - a chance that was squandered. Rani Rampal’s strike off a penalty corner struck Lisa Altenburg on the thigh on the goal-line. It was a clear goalscoring opportunity and even though it struck Alternburg above the knee, the Indians, who opted for a referral, won the penalty stroke. Gurjit Kaur stepped up to take it but was denied by a stunning save from Julia Sonntag.

The missed chance would come back to torment India as Anne Schroder scored in the 35th minute with a ferocious strike.

Vandana was one of the better players and made repeated forays into the circle. She forced a fine save from Sonntag late in the third quarter, but the Indians were largely uninspiring upfront. They did create a few chances, particularly in the third quarter, but failed to find a decent pass into the circle. 

The Germans, with a 2-0 lead, were more than content to hold on to possession and control proceedings. Sharmila was shown a yellow card mid-way into the final quarter for a rash foul and the heaves opened up as Germany closed out the game to pick up its second win on the trot.

The Indian side is winless from its two outings.

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