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India go down fighting to Germany

January 08, 2004 17:15 IST
Last Updated: January 08, 2004 17:36 IST

Asia Cup champions India went down fighting to World champions Germany 1-3 in their opening match of the 13th Azlan Shah hockey tournament in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

All the goals were scored from penalty-corners.

Germany looked like running away with the match as they went two goals up within the first six minutes, but the young Indian side did well to make a fight out of it.

Bjoern Michel opened the scoring for Germany in the fourth minute off the team's first penalty-corner before skipper Florian Kunz increased the lead from their fourth penalty-corner in the sixth minute.

But the Indians came back fighting and pulled one back in the 17th minute when 18-year-old Sandeep Singh flicked clean and true from the team's first penalty-corner in the 17th minute.

Thereafter India dominated the match but lacked thrust upfront to create an impression on the German goal.

Tushar Khandekar could have restored parity for India in the 23rd minute but goalkeeper Arnold Clemens did well to palm away his shot from hand-shaking distance following a cross from Baljit Singh Dhillon.

Clemens again denied India a goal in the 29th minute, saving Sandeep Singh's flick from a penalty-corner.

India looked threatening in the second session too but just failed to penetrate the German defence.

Michel got his second goal of the match from Germany's fourth penalty-corner in the 45th minute to make the scoreline 3-1.

But that was the last time the Germans had a clear look at the Indian goal as the Indians pressed hard with individual runs by skipper Dhanraj Pillay and Sandeep Michael but without success.

Tomorrow, India takes on Pakistan in the first match of the day's programme. 

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