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Ajmer, Adrian deny Germany victory
March 28, 2005 20:10 IST
India narrowly escaped defeat and held Germany 1-1 in the six-nation junior hockey tournament in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, after the Europeans completely dominated the game.
The Prabodh Tirkey-led Indian team conceded a goal in the 18th minute and trailed for most part of the match before scoring against the run of play in the 66th minute through Sandeep Singh.
India, the defending champions, had beaten South Korea 3-1 on Sunday.
Today's game saw the first half being lashed by heavy rain and players from both the teams concentrating mainly on midfield play.
Germany got their goal in the 18th minute from a penalty-corner while India's equalizer was also from a penalty-corner four minutes from the end.
"We are lucky to survive today's match. It has been a good lesson for the boys," a relieved coach Harendra Singh said after the match.
Singh added that full back Ajmer Singh and goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza's brilliance prevented the Germans from scoring in the second half.
"The Germans dominated the second half completely; we are lucky to get a goal," he said.
Teams from India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Germany, England and South Korea arer taking part in this tournament.
Tuesday is a rest day and on Wednesday India take on Pakistan; on Thursday they play England and on Saturday clash with hosts Malaysia.
The final will be played on Sunday.
The Germans had lost to England on Sunday 3-4, while the match between Malaysia and Pakistan ended goalless.
Singh said the tournament would serve as a good platform for the forthcoming junior World Cup, to be held from June 29 in Rotterdam, Holland.
"The boys will know where they stand at the end of this tournament which is like a mini World Cup," he added.