FIH Hockey Champions Trophy 2016: India 3-3 Germany - Full Match Report
As the referee sounded his whistle, it was India to initiate proceedings at London’s Lee Valley Hockey and Training Centre. The start wasn’t ideal with Germany winning the first penalty corner in the opening minute, but it was easily blocked inside the circle.
Moments later, the Germans lost their only referral as the umpires rightly dismissed their appeal of the ball hitting Manpreet’s foot at the edge of the D. With the Indians building on their possession of the ball, chances began to find their way. Chinglensana then fetched India’s first penalty corner in the sixth minute as he ran into two German sticks, who were illegally blocking his steps.
Raghunath makes it 1-0 from India’s first PC in the 7th minute
V. R. Raghunath – India’s ever dependable drag flicker who has been away from international action for quite a while now – stepped up to the spot and converted comfortably to mark his return in style. The lead could have been instantly snatched away, had it not been for Surinder’s goal-line clearance followed up with Sreejesh’s signature dive to keep the scoreline unchanged until the end of the first quarter.
India continued to dominate as Raghunath’s second PC in the 17th minute was pushed just wide. Next, SV Sunil found space in front of the German keeper and slotted home to celebrate a goal which was then disallowed by the television umpires since the ball had clipped his foot before falling to his stick.
Five minutes from the break, Thomas Grambusch found the equaliser from another PC, as his low drag flick deflected off Sreejesh’s foot to the ceiling of the goal. India responded immediately – captain SV Sunil proving once again why he’s considered one of the fastest forwards in world hockey today.
His extensive sprint culminated in a deft cross to Mandeep who beat his marker to flick the ball past an outstretched Tobias Walter into the back of the net.
At half-time, India led the defending champions 2-1
Two minutes from resumption, Sunil earned a clever penalty corner. As delightful as it could get, young Harmanpreet blasted the ball into the bottom corner to make it 3-1, completely disregarding the German sticks guarding the post.
In the ensuing minutes, India had to spend a significant period with 10 men as Danish Mujtaba saw green and Talwinder yellow cards to sit out of the action. Tom Grambusch capitalised on the one-man advantage by scoring his second PC goal on national debut in the 36th minute, which meant India were left with a thin one-goal lead to protect in the last quarter.
PR Sreejesh reaffirms his greatness in front of the goal
It was Sreejesh’s heroics at the back that denied a flurry of German attempts to protect the Indian lead, most noteworthy being Rothlander’s luxurious one-on-one effort in the 46th minute. Finally, as Germany’s ninth penalty corner went past Sreejesh and hit Pardeep Mor in the midriff, the stroke was awarded to the Germans which Jonas Gomoll made perfect use of to make it 3-3 in the 57th minute.
Mandeep Singh was eventually left to rue his 52nd-minute turning miss in front of the German goal when the hooter went off to signal the end of the match.