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