Harpal Singh Bedi
Bhubaneswar: In a tense encounter Germany’s young players held their nerves at the crucial as the visitors piped India 2-1 in penalty shoot out after being levelled 1-1 at the end of the regulation period in the FIH Women’s Pro League hockey at Kalinga Stadium here Today
In the shoot-out, Germany held their nerve to take the bonus point. While neither side showed great finishing in the shoot-out, full credit to Mali Wichmann in the German goal as she saved four attempts and made a great video referral to get a penalty stroke overturned on a technicality
In a fast paced encounter in the 4th minute Sharmila Devi ran down the left flank and created an opening with a crisp cross which was well intercepted by Navneet Kaur who made no mistake in slotting it home. (1-0).
Germany’s response to this goal was fast and furious and they earned two successive penalty corners . “Player of the match” Carlotta Sippel crashed the ball home after it had rebounded and bounced around in front of goal keeper Savita (1-1)
After the equaliser Germany kept up the pressure by having a greater share of possession, including three penalty corners. however, the visitors were frustrated by Savita who guarded the cave with utmost alacrity. Same was the case with Indians who could not beat goal keeper Mali Wichmann, who was making her debut for Germany
The third quarter saw India pushing forwards to a greater degree. Two penalty corners, both taken by Gurjit Kaur, were saved by Wichmann.
As the time counted down, India started putting pressure on their rivals as they made some incisive moves but could not translate them into goals.
Germany had chance to break the deadlock when a shot by Die Danas seemed to have crossed the goal line but eventually it was cleared to safety.
The last quarter saw teams going all out to get the winning goal. The momentum looked to be with India but Germany dug deep and managed the game well and kept tight discipline in the face of increased pressure.
In the shoot-out, Germany held their nerve to take the bonus point..
Speaking after the game, Player of the Match Carlotta Sippel said: ‘I am very happy about the game. We did a great job. We are looking forward to tomorrow’s game. It was a great opportunity for us to play.’
Captain Savita said: ‘Germany played a good game. We also played a good game but although we made a lot of chances we couldn’t score.’
The result means India remain in third position in the league table behind Argentina and Netherlands. Germany remain in fifth place, on level points with Spain but with an inferior goal difference.