FIH Women's Hockey Pro League 2023-24: Germany come from behind to dash Indian hopes, prevail 4-2 in London

Germany v India - FIH Pro League Women
Germany fought back to beat India at the FIH Pro League.

The Indians raised hopes of an unlikely win by veering ahead of the Germans thanks to a two-goal lead in their penultimate game of FIH Women's Hockey Pro League this season but ultimately fell short by a 2-4 margin on Saturday, June 8. Young Sunelita Toppo displayed her goalscoring prowess to give India an early advantage before Deepika piled on the misery for the Germans with a splendid goal from open play before the end of the first quarter.

Two short corner goals from Viktoria Huse restored parity for the Germans. Kurz Stine's drag-flick in the final quarter allowed Germany to nose ahead while Jule Bleuel's diving effort from open play sealed the deal for Valentin Altenberg's team.

Savita Punia was called into action in the very first minute as the Germans hit the ground running but the Indians responded in kind with a quick counter which earned them a short corner in the second minute.

Sunelita Toppo had a golden chance to open the scoring but a moment's indecision allowed the Germans an early reprieve, Lalremsiami's shot on goal was taken care of by Julia Sonntag immediately after.

Sonntag, however, could do little when Sunelita Toppo unleashed a stunning reverse off an assist from Navneet Kaur to give India the lead in the ninth minute.

A back-stick from Udita allowed the Germans to earn their first penalty corner in the 13th minute but the set piece failed to come off as planned.

A lightning breakaway move manufactured by Vandana Katariya and Deepika enabled the Indians to double their lead in the 15th minute. Vandana's cross allowed an advancing Deepika to beat Sonntag from close range much to the delight of the Indian bench.

Viktoria Huse reduced the deficit for the Germans off a short corner in the 23rd minute after her low drag-flick beat Bichu Devi who replaced Savita in goal.

Bichu Devi dealt with Emma Davidsmeyer's stinging strike from the edge of the circle in the 25th minute as the Germans upped the ante just before half-time.

Victoria Huse got her side back in the game with a second penalty corner goal in the 32nd minute. With only Julia Sonntag to beat, Deepika failed to latch onto the ball in the striking circle in the 36th minute.

Kurz Stine positioned her drag-flick to perfection in the 51st minute while a diving Jule Bleuel scored a field goal in the 55th minute to hand the under-strength German side a 4-2 win.

India avoid relegation with one game in hand at the Hockey Pro League

The Indians have a match in hand at the Hockey Pro League this season
The Indians have a match in hand at the Hockey Pro League this season

The Indian women's hockey team has slipped to the eighth position among the nine teams playing in the current season of the Hockey Pro League.

The Indian think-tank will, however, be relieved that the team will not be relegated to the Nation's Cup regardless of what transpires in their last and final match of the tournament against Great Britain on Sunday.

Ahead of the game against Germany, Great Britain had overtaken the Indians to be perched in the seventh place on the Hockey Pro League points with nine points from eight games.

The Indians now have eight points from 15 matches but cannot slump any further since the USA who have finished their campaign have just four points from 16 games.

As the bottom-placed team in the Hockey Pro League, the USA will be relegated to the Nations Cup next season.

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