The Indian hockey team fought hard but eventually ran out of steam against Olympic champion Germany to go down 3-5 in its second match of the BDO Hamburg Masters tournament at Uhlenhoster Club, Hamburg.
Senior drag-flicker Sandeep Singh sounded the board in the second minute of the match on Saturday, while captain Rajpal Singh (15th) and Dharamvir Singh (41st) were the other scorers for India.
The hosts scored through Jan-Marco Montag (11th), Florian Fuchs (16th), Maximillan Muller (50th), Christopher Zeller (64th) and Moritz Furste (70th).
Desperate to shrug off a 3-6 humiliation against Holland in the campaign-opener, India began aggressively with Sandeep scoring in the second minute through a penalty stroke.
Sandeep's powerful drag-flick made a body contact with a German defender resulting in the penalty.
Stung by the early reversal, Germany went in the hunt for the equaliser but Indian custodian Sreejesh thwarted a few attempts in the early minutes.
Montag produced the equaliser in the 11th minute when he creditably converted a penalty corner.
With Sardar Singh out of the encounter due to fever and groin pain, Indian defence-line was manned by Gurbaj Singh, Dhananjay Mahadik and Bharat Chikara.
India broke back into the lead just four minutes later when Rajpal capitalised on a swift counter-attack organised by Mohd Amir Khan and Danish Mujtaba but could not maintain the difference as Fuchs found back of the Indian net within a minute.
In the second half, India took the lead for the third time against the world number two. Chikara snatched the ball from Deecke in the midfield to feed Amir, who deftly set up Dharamvir with a reverse and the Chandigarh youngster drove home in the 41st minute.
Germany, however, drew parity again with their captain Muller scoring in the 50th minute.
As the deadlock continued, India committed a few unforced errors allowing the Germans to surge ahead.
India conceded a penalty corner six minutes before the final whistle. Rajpal carried the ball in his own circle and the corner-flick struck Vikas Pillay on his foot resulting in a penalty stroke, which Zeller converted to take Germany ahead.
The Germans then rounded off the tally with Furste scoring in the last minute with a turnover after Ravi Pal was dispossessed.
India now play Japan in their last game.
Meanwhile, Japan beat Holland 3-2 in another match of the day.