Sardar Singh's men concede last-minute goal against Germany to lose opening encounter 0-1
Bhubaneswar: Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh's magnificent effort went in vain as Germany scored a late goal to beat hosts India in their opening Pool B match of the Hero Champions Trophy at a packed Kalinga Stadium on Saturday.
German players celebrate after scoring the winning goal against hosts India at Bhubaneswar's Kalinga Stadium on Saturday. Pic/AFP
If not for Sreejesh, the margin of defeat for India could have been higher as the Kerala custodian made innumerable saves to keep India in the match.
But an error of judgment in the final minute cost Sreejesh and India, a point, as Florian Fuchs was quick to pounce on the opportunity and score the winner.
Sreejesh rushed to tackle an onrushing Fuchs but mistimed his jump and allowed the German striker to turn the ball around Sreejesh before putting it into the net with a reverse hit just 34 seconds from the final hooter.
It was tipped as the most high-profile match of the evening but it was the Germans who dominated the proceedings and created chances galore.
England stun Australia
Debutant Sam Ward scored two goals as a spirited England upset defending champions Australia 3-1 in the opening match of the Champions Trophy field hockey tournament in India on Saturday.
Rapidly-improving Belgium also made a winning start in pool A of the eight-nation event with a 2-1 win over Pakistan.