KREFELD (Germany): The Indian men’s hockey team’s second of its four-match tour of Europe ended in a 1-1 draw with both living up to the billing on Tuesday. Jarmanpreet Singh of India opened the scoreboard for India in the 4th minute while Martin Häner scored for Germany.
Riding high on confidence after a dominating 6-1 win in their first international match of 2021, the World No. 4 started on an attacking note against the hosts and earned themselves a penalty corner in the 4th minute, which was converted by defender Jarmanpreet Singh with a classic slap shot. Within the following two minutes, the hosts also bounced back and got their chance to score an equaliser with a PC but could not capitalise.
The visitors continued to dominant in the second quarter, with better ball possession, creating potential opportunities with an intent to capitalize on the early lead. However, the quarter ended with the hosts putting pressure on the Indian men with strong man-to-man tackle. The hosts backed their tactical play with some quick forays into the striking circle, resulting in them earning back-to-back PCs. It was in their second attempt when the experienced Martin Häner levelled the score 1-1 minutes ahead of the half-time break.
Continuing the momentum, the third quarter saw Germany keeping the ball in the Indian half to create scoring opportunities but, Indian defenders remained composed and set-up a well-structured defence that kept the German forwardline from converting. A solid block from Surender Kumar at the very last minute saw the third quarter ending in a 1-1 stalemate.
The final quarter saw some nail-biting moments, with both the teams upping the ante but neither allowed a goal with the match ending in a 1-1 deadlock. “This match was a good experience for our players. It was a tough match and the team worked hard. Both teams created opportunities and I believe we will learn a lot from this game,” stated India’s Chief Coach Graham Reid.
India will play Great Britain next on Saturday.
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