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FIH Pro League hockey: India beat world champions Germany to win first match

India will next face Australia on Sunday and will lock horns with Germany again in the second leg on Monday.

Written By: Aachal Maniyar New Delhi Published on: March 10, 2023 23:29 IST
Team India registers win against Germany
Image Source : HOCKEY INDIA/TWITTER Team India registers win against Germany

In their first match of the FIH Pro League hockey, India defeated reigning world champions Germany 3-2 on Friday. Striker Sukhjeet Singh struck a second-half brace to guide his side to win. The 26-year-old Sukhjeet scored in the 31st and 42nd minutes, both goals coming from field efforts. India skipper Harmanpreet Singh scored in the 30th minute through a penalty corner conversion at the Birsa Munda Stadium.

India were 3-0 up in the 42nd minute before Paul-Philipp Kaufmann and Michel Struthoff struck for Germany in the 44th and 57th minutes respectively.

The visitors got off to a strong start with five back-to-back Penalty Corners in the 10th minute but India defended all of them. Harmanpreet, who was retained as captain despite the sacking of head coach Graham Reid after the World Cup, was top-class in his attempt, picking up a good injection by Hardik Singh to fiercely put it away into the right corner of the post, giving India the much-needed 1-0 lead.

Apart from stitching together good attacks, with the midfield and forward line in sync, India made some smart referrals that kept the German attack at bay. The visitors, though, managed a goal just before the end of the third quarter when Elian Mazkour set up Paul-Philipp Kaufmann to score.

With the recently-appointed head coach Craig Fulton yet to join the team, David John was at the helm on Friday, a job he is expected to do in the next three matches also.

Following their World Cup loss, India have dropped senior players Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, and Amit Rohidas, while goalkeeper Krishan Pathak also missed due to his wedding. India will next face Australia on Sunday and will lock horns with Germany again in the second leg on Monday.

(Inputs from PTI)

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