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England hand India second defeat

Last updated on: September 07, 2006 21:40 IST

India suffered their second successive defeat in the men's hockey World Cup, going down to England 2-3 in Monchengladbach, Germany, on Thursday.

Two goals by Simon Mantell, from penalty-corners, saw England wipe off a first-half deficit and snatch a well-deserved victory.

- Men's Hockey World Cup coverage

India's plight could have been worse had England scored from two penalty-strokes they were awarded in the first-half, but Ben Hawes's flick was well-saved by goalkeeper Bharat Chetri, and Mantell, who took the second stroke, pushed wide.

In the second match of the day, Pakistan got off to a rousing start, routing Japan 4-0 in Pool A.

Penalty-corner ace Sohail Abbas scored once in each half from the set-piece drill as Pakistan led 2-0 at half-time.

Rehain Butt and Shakeel Abassi accounted for the other goals.

India went ahead much against the run of play in the 30th minute through Shivenda Singh, who had scored both the goals in the 2-3 loss to Germany in the opener on Wednesday. The goal was the result of a quick one-touch move down the middle, where Gagan Ajit Singh put Tushar Khandekar through and the latter squared the ball for Shivendra, who rounded off goalkeeper James Fair and tapped into an untenanted goal.

But thereafter it was all England, as their forwards repeatedly splintered through the Indian defence.

James Tindall put them on level terms, scoring from the team's fourth penalty-corner in the 53rd minute, before Mantell could add two more goals off the fifth and sixth penalty-corners in the 59th and 62nd minutes respectively.

Not to be humiliated by a lesser-ranked team – England are ranked 11 while India sixth -- the eight-time Olympic champions who had won their only World Cup in 1975, launched a feverish search for goal and Dilip Tirkey pulled one back from the team's fifth penalty-corner with four minutes to goal for the hooter.

But it was too late the fightback. India were well and truly beaten by the English.

Our Correspondent