Dusseldorf (Germany), June 6 (IANS) Hosts Germany overpowered India 2-0 in an action-packed encounter here on Tuesday to end their campaign at the 3-Nations Invitational hockey tournament as winners.
Germany previously won 2-1 against Belgium, drew 2-2 with India and lost 2-5 to Belgium in their opening match to finish with seven points while India earned four points from their 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 drag-flicker 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 Rio Olympics bronze medallists showcase an improvised execution of attack and ball possession to take early control of the match.
They 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 Germany earned a penalty corner seconds before the end of the first quarter, they couldn’t convert the shot as India keeper Akash Chikte came up with a good save.
India played the second quarter patiently, rotating the ball between themselves waiting for an opening in the German defence. Despite several circle penetrations, it took till the 29th minute for the real chance to materialise as India bagged their second penalty corner of the game. The opportunity went amiss though and the first half ended with 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’s fiercely struck flick was defended by German goalkeeper denying him an equaliser.
With time ticking away rapidly, India pulled out their goalkeeper to play with an extra attacker but could not materialise.
Germany, meanwhile succeeded in pumping their second goal into the post in the 60th minute, thanks to Timm Herzbruch and took home a well-deserved victory.