Hockey World League: India lose to Germany 0-2
India go down 0-2 to Germany and finish in last place of Pool 'B'
India produced a disappointing performance in their second consecutive match to go down 0-2 to Germany and end their pool engagements on a winless note at the Hockey World League Final here yesterday. Bhubaneswar crowd had to return home disappointed once again as Germany scored two goals in the second quarter through skipper Martin Haner (17th minute) and Mats Grambusch (20th) to hand India their second defeat of the eight-nation tournament. India, who drew 1-1 with Australia and lost 2-3 against England in their previous outings, thus finished at the bottom of Pool B table with just one point from three matches.
India forward Gurjant Singh (second from right) takes a tumble after colliding with a German defender during a Hockey World League Final encounter at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar yesterday. India lost 0-2 and remain winless at the end of the league stage. Pic/PTI
Earlier in the day, world champions Australia and England played out a 2-2 draw in their final pool engagements. Dylan Wootherspoon (33rd minute) and Blake Govers (42nd) scored for Australia, while Liam Ansell (4th) and Phil Roper (54th) found the net for England. Having finished at the bottom, India will now play the leaders of Pool 'A' in the quarter-finals tomorrow, while Pool B's top-placed Germany (7 points) will take on the last team of Pool 'A'. Pool 'A' standings will be decided today after the final round matches — Argentina v Spain and Belgium v Netherlands.
The Germans came out strong in the first quarter, dominating the early share of exchanges. The Indians, however, got their foothold as the quarter progressed. Both the teams tried hard but failed to produce any real goal scoring opportunities. But the deadlock broke just after the start of second quarter from Germany's first penalty corner. The Germans kept up the pressure on the Indian defence and secured the first penalty corner of match, which Hanner converted with a ground flick to the right of a diving Akash Chikte in front of the Indian goal.
To the utter disbelief of the capacity crowd present at the Kalinga Stadium, the Germans extended their lead minutes later through Gramhbusch, whose strike from the circle beat Chikte after a deflection from Birendra Lakra stick. Stunned by two goals, the hosts finally showed some promise and created a few good chances but failed to get past Germany custodian Tobias Walter, who was brilliant under the post.