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Baljit stars in India's victory over Germany
February 03, 2009 21:49 IST
Goalkeeper Baljit Singh put up a stupendous show under the bar to help India defeat Olympic [Images] champions Germany [Images] 2-0 in the last match of the four-nation Punjab Gold Cup tournament in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Dilip Tirkey opened the scoring in the second minute and Prabhjot Singh added a second in the 53rd minute for the hosts through penalty corners.
India now have seven points from three matches, the same as Holland, but they are placed at number two position in the points table as the Dutch team has a better goal difference.
Playing in front of his home crowd, Chandigarh-lad Baljit, who was adjudged man-of-the-match, kept the Germans at bay and stood like a rock to save all the eight penalty corners. India took an early lead with Tirkey sounding the board through a penalty corner, the only one they earned in the first half.
As the teams changed sides, Indians earned their second penalty corner. Skipper and penalty corner specialist Sandeep Singh hit a low drag flick and Prabhjot Singh sounded the post hitting from a rebound in the 53rd minute.
The Germans, who are experimenting with a young team in this tournament, showed no signs of pressure and even had more ball possession. The Germans had the Indian defence on their toes earning seven penalty corners in the first half including two back-to-back on two different occasions but some smart work by Baljit thwarted the repeated attacks.
Indian mid-fielders Prabodh Tirkey and Vikram Pillay looked off colour during the first half while the team itself looked low on confidence and lacked aggression, they had shown against Holland on Sunday.
In the second half, the Germans earned their eighth penalty corner, but again Baljit's alertness ensured India does not concede any goal.
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