Women Hockey : India down Germany 3-0 in  Penalty shootout in the FIH  Hockey Pro League

Harpal Singh Bedi

Bhubaneswar: Putting behind  Saturday’s reversal ,India came up with a dominating performance to down Germany 3-0 in the penalty shoot-out ,after playing 1-1 in regulation period, to take the bonus point in the second leg of the FIH Women’s hockey Pro league at Kalinga Stadium here today.

It was a sweet revenge for the hosts  as  they  controlled the match most of the time against  Germany, who fielded a team of U21 players. Despite having more ball possession the hosts were not able to breach the rival’s crowded defence.

In  a keenly contested  encounter  Germans  also made some incisive moves and just before the interval  took the lead  through .Felicia Wiedermann  whose powerful shot   flew  into the goal  (1-0)

Germany  than got a chance to increase the lead when they were awarded a stroke. India could not challenge that decision as they had already  had squandered their referral in the first five minutes of the game. However, the visitors muffed that chance as  Jette Fleschütz’s hard shot hit the post and the score remained 1-0.

India finally broke through in the third quarter when Nisha  slotted the ball over the German goal-line after some indecision by the  defence.  (1-1)

Buoyed by the equaliser India went all out on the offensive  for  the winning goal but found a resilient German defence that maintained their nerves  in face of the onslaught .All the moves by  Sharmila  Devi were thwarted  and striker Navneet Kaur was  prevented from  creating chances.

The visitors were awarded a penalty corner in the dying seconds of the game but were unable to beat goal keeper Savita

As the teams were  levelled 1-1 at the end of regulation period, the match went into shootout  .And it turned out to be a total reversal  of  Saturday

This time India  looked the more confident and they quickly took an unassailable 3-0 lead through the excellence of

Savita and the calmness of the scorers: Tete Salima,  Sangita Kumari and Sonika. While Germans fumbled and muffed their chances

After the  win , Player of the Match, Navneet Kaur  said: ‘I am very happy, we did very well and worked hard over both matches.’

Germany’s captain Lisa Nolte said: ‘The feeling in this stadium is awesome but we were unlucky to lose the game today. I am proud of my team. We did a great job but we were  unlucky not to win today.’

German Head Coach Akim Bouchouchi said,. ‘We made  too many faults in our build-up and allowed India to take possession too easily.’

The win enabled  India  to  move to second position in the league table behind Argentina and ahead of Netherlands. Germany remain in sixth position just one point behind Spain

HSB

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