FIH Pro League 2022: Harmanpreet Singh, Abhishek star as India beat Germany 3-0

India's Harmanpreet Singh scores a goal against Germany in their FIH Pro League match. (PC: HI)
India's Harmanpreet Singh scores a goal against Germany in their FIH Pro League match. (PC: HI)
Hari Kishore M

India beat Germany 3-0 in their FIH Pro League match at the Kalinga Stadium on Thursday, April 14. Vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh scored a brace while 'Player of the Match' Abhishek scored one goal.

Harmanpreet Singh scored in the 18th and 27th minutes, both set-pieces, while Abhishek converted a penalty corner in the 45th minute to set the result in stone.

Abhishek, who enthralled with his sublime gameplay, spoke of the opportunity the FIH Pro League provides to young players like him.

β€œIt’s great to get chances for India, with a long tournament allowing squad rotations. My aim is to always make the best use of any chance that I get to play for India. I am happy to have won player of the match and gotten a goal today."

India tops points table in FIH Pro League

The 3-0 win helped India consolidate their position at the top of the table with 24 points from 11 games. Germany are second with 17 points from nine matches.

Read: FIH Pro League 2022: Two-legged tie between India and England women's hockey team canceled

Harmanpreet Singh continued his goal-scoring spree, taking his season tally to 16 goals in the ongoing edition of the FIH Pro League. He is the highest-scorer in the league by quite some distance, with Netherlands' Thierry Brinkman second with six goals.

India started on a bright note and secured a penalty corner early into the first quarter. However, Jugraj Singh's effort from the penalty corner was kept out by the German defense and Nilkanata Sharma shot wide from the resultant rebound.

India enjoyed a lot of possession in the first quarter but the forward line wasn't clinical enough to bury their chances.

They continued in the same vein in the second quarter and took the lead in the 18th minute from a penalty corner with a superbly executed dragflick from Harmanpreet.

Harmanpreet doubled India's lead three minutes from half-time, wrong-footing keeper Alexander Stadler from another set-piece.

Also read: Hockey India to send second-string hockey teams to 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games

The Indians kept up the pressure after the change of ends and created plenty of scoring opportunities. The young German defense stood firm but were also guilty of conceding plenty of penalty corners.

Abhishek then made it 3-0 when he deflected in Harmanpreet's variation to hand India a comfortable lead just before the end of the third quarter. India then made sure there were no surprises and kept their lead intact at the hooter.

The German side conceded eight penalty corners but failed to secure a single one for themselves in the entire 60 minutes.

India and Germany will meet in their second FIH Pro League match at the Kalinga Stadium on Friday.

Also read: Hockey: Technical officer Sonia Bathla looking forward to Commonwealth Games

Edited by Puranjay Dixit


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