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Harpal Singh Bedi

India  outpaced Germany 3-1 to record their second straight win  over the visitors  and consolidated their  position at the top of the leader board  of FIH Pro Hockey League at Kalinga Stadium Bhubaneswar on Friday.

With this win  India now leads the standings with 27 points from 12 matches while Germany  stayed put at second place with 17 points from 10 outings.

  For the winners who led 1-0 at half time the goal scorers were Sukhjeet Singh (19’) Varun Kumar (41’) and Abhishek (54’).  For Germany Anton Boeckel  (45’)was the lone scorer.

  This was India’s last match in the home leg of this FIH season. They will play remaining matches in  Europe in June

 India again dominated the proceedings like the previous match and had more ball possession in the first quarter as world No. 5 Germany desperately defending their citadel .

  India, donning an all-white outfit, were kept up the pressure by launchings attacks from the flanks, forcing the visitors to crowd their defence .

In the 12th minute,  Manpreet created a fine opening and set up  Akashdeep Singh  who had an open goal in front but he shot wide .

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  The scoreboard remained unchanged in the first 15 minutes.

Considering the sweltering heat in Bhubaneswar, the break between the quarters was extended to four minutes from the standard two.

India took the lead in the second quarter when Nilakanta Sharma  sent a measured  pass to the unmarked Sukhjeet Singh on the right, who slammed the ball  into the back of the net. (1-0)

   The blistering heat had its impact and India slowed down the pace of the match after the goal and played the possession game.

  However Germany after being under pressure for most of the time  tried to  counter and  made a flurry of attacks from either flank. However, none of them resulted in goals

Early into the third quarter, the hosts  won the first penalty corner of the match but Harmanpreet’s flick was saved after goalkeeper Jean Danneberg

 Indians  kept mounting pressure throughout the quarter but just could  not breach the  rival defence to increase their lead.

The barrage of attacks finally paid off in the 41st minute as India converted a penalty corner. This time Varun Kumar with powerful  drag flick  beat the goal keeper all ends up (2-0)

Germany narrowed the gap  in the 45th minute  through a well-constructed  move. Hannes Muller beat  goalkeeper PR Sreejesh on the left and  Anton Boeckel  made no mistake in sending the ball into the cave  (1-2).

India were down to 10 men early in the fourth quarter when Gurinder Singh was shown  a yellow card for a foul.

Despite the disadvantage, India sealed the match in the 54th minute  when Abhishek’s powerful reverse hit  went flying past the goalkeeper.

With three minutes to go, Germany missed the penalty corner and eventually  suffered their second defeat in two days.

By INDIAN AWAAZ

The Indian Awaaz (theindianawaaz.com) is a fast growing English news website based in New Delhi. Website covers Politics, Economy/Business, Entertainment, Health, Education, Technology, Fashion, Lifestyle, Stock Market, Commercial issues and much more. It has separate sections in Hindi and Urdu too.