India lost 2-5 to the World No. 2 and reigning Olympic Champion Germany, making it impossible for the eight-time Olympic champion side to make it to the podium now.
India kept their captain Bharat Chetri on the bench and started with PR Sreejesh in the XI. Germany had a go at the Indian goal from the word go and missed a couple of chances early on. In the 7th minute, Florian Fuchs brought up Germany’s first goal through a deflection. PR Sreejesh charged forward to the oncoming forward but the ball sneaked through and an attentive Fuchs drove it towards the goal where it was deflected in by Danish Mujtaba‘s foot. Sandeep Singh missed the first Penalty Corner chance a minute later.
However, it was the other drag-flicker VR Raghunath who converted another Penalty Corner through a deflection 7 minutes later as India drew level to raise hopes of a comeback. But what followed next was abysmal for India. Sreejesh was involved in another one on one with Fuchs – the ball lobbed up and the forward again showed brilliant presence of mind to jump and nudge the ball into the goal from just below the shoulder level. Next, it was Oliver Korn to drive home another field goal into the corner of the cage. With the lead stretching to 2 goals, Germany now came full guns blazing at India. Before Half-Time, they managed to score one more through Christopher Wesley.
The 2nd half saw Florian Fuchs complete his hattrick as he dived forward to scoop the ball above the keeper into the goal as India trailed 1-5 to the Germans. India managed to salvage one back through Tushar Khandker as the forward kept the German defense at bay to slot one in. But the writing was on the wall as India ended up losing their 3rd consecutive match at Riverbank Arena and are now out of the running for a podium finish. They will face Korea on 5th August and Belgium on 7th August next.
GERMANY Florian Fuchs (7th, 16th, 37th); Oliver Korn (24th) and Christopher Wesley (33rd)
INDIA VR Raghunath (14th) and Tushar Khandker (62nd)