Harmanpreet Singh’s brace helps India beat Germany 3-0 in Pro Hockey League

Harmanpreet Singh’s brace helps India beat Germany 3-0 in Pro Hockey League

New Delhi, April 14, 2022

Riding on drag flicker Harmanpreet Singh’s brace, India overpowered Germany 3-0 in the first leg of their Hockey Pro League at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.

Harmanpreet converted two penalty corners in the 18th and 27th minutes, while Abhishek (45’) deflect in a third goal as the hosts collected three points.

With the win, India are at the top of the league table with 24 points from 11 matches. Germany are second with 17 points from nine games.

India went on the offensive from the start but the new look German side was solid with their defence.

The home team made the first incisive move in the fifth minute but captain Amit Rohidas could not control an aerial ball on the right side of the goal.

A minute later, the hosts earned their first penalty corner but Jugraj Singh was foiled by the charging German defence.

The visitors had a chance to surge ahead in the 10th minute but Harmanpreet Singh made a timely clearance from right in front of the goal.

Although India had more opportunities to score, the young German team defended in numbers to end the first quarter with the score at 0-0.

Early in the second period, a push from Benedikt Schwarzhaupt on Manpreet Singh inside the circle earned India their second penalty corner.

Harmanpreet, the highest scorer of the ongoing league, converted the penalty corner with a beautiful flick to the bottom right corner and handed India the lead (1-0). It was his 15th goal of the season.

The Men in Blue could have increased their lead in the 23d minute, but Harmanpreet’s attempt was cleared by goalkeeper Alexander Stadler.

The visitors, on the other hand, tried to build from the back but had little success as action moved to the other end of the pitch.

In the 27th minute, India made it 2-0 as Harmanpreet Singh converted another penalty corner. This time, it was a low, slow shot to the bottom right which the goalkeeper failed to judge.

In the second session, Germany upped their attacking intent but almost conceded one more after a brilliant counter attack from India.

Hardik Singh made a solo dash all the way from his own circle to the opposite end. He could not score but earned his team a penalty corner, which however was muffed.

Germany played the possession game for the remainder of the third period, which did not fetch any goals.

However, India managed to score the third goal following another penalty corner. Harmanpreet slammed the ball low to the left of the charging defenders. Abhishek cleverly deflected the ball home (3-0 ).

The fourth quarter saw India easing off on the attack and Germany upping the ante.

A string of attacks from the visitors earned them a penalty corner in the 53rd minute but India used their video referral to overturn the decision.

Goalkeeper Krishan Pathak who was hardly tested in the first three quarters was on his toes in the final minutes.

With two minutes to go, Hardik Singh was shown the yellow card but it meant little as India comfortably sealed a 3-0 victory.

India will play Germany again on April 15 at the same venue.

NNN

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