FIH Pro League: Harmanpreet’s double hands India 3-0 win over young GermanyApril 15, 2022
Vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh continued his goal-scoring spree with a brace as the Indian men’s hockey team defeated an inexperienced Germany 3-0 in the first match of their two-leg tie to extend its lead in the FIH Pro League standings here today. Harmanpreet converted two penalty corners in the 18th and 27th minutes, while Abhishek deflected in another Harmanpreet drag-flick in the 45th minute.
With 12 players of Germany’s 22-member squad making their senior debut in the tie, the vast gap between the two sides was evidently visible.
By virtue of this win, India consolidated their position at the top of the table with 24 points from 11 games. Germany are placed second with 17 points from nine matches.
Both the teams will lock horns again in the second match of the tie tomorrow.
The Indians started on a bright note and secured a penalty corner early in the first quarter but Jugraj Singh’s effort was kept out by the German defence and Nilkanata Sharma shot wide from the rebound. India enjoyed a lot of possession in the first quarter but the forward-line wasn’t clinical enough to bury the chances.
India continued in the same vein in the second quarter and took the lead in the 18th minute. Harmanpreet’s low and accurate drag-flick crashed into the sideboard past the post defender. India earned another penalty corner soon but this time German goalkeeper Alexander Stadler denied Harmanpreet.
But Harmanpreet doubled India’s lead three minutes from half-time. He pulled his body from right to left and wrong-footed Stadler with a drag-flick into the bottom left corner.
The Indians kept up the pressure after the change of ends and created plenty of scoring opportunities but the young German defence stood firm. They were, however, guilty of conceding a lot of penalty corners. And from another penalty corner, pusher Abhishek, who was named the Player of the Match, deflected in Harmanpreet’s variation to hand India a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Minutes into the fourth quarter, Germany conceded another penalty corner but this time Stadler kept out Harmanpreet’s try.
The Germans gave a good account of themselves in the final 15 minutes but they gave too many chances to the Indians in the form of penalty corners which cost them dearly. The Germans conceded eight penalty corners but failed to secure even one in the match. —