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Men's Hockey Pro League

FIH Pro League 2023-24: Indian men's hockey team defeat world champions Germany

Published at :June 1, 2024 at 6:17 PM
Modified at :June 1, 2024 at 6:18 PM
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(Courtesy : Hockey India)

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Harmanpreet, Sukhjeet and Gurjant Singh scored for the Men in Blue.

Indian men’s hockey team put up a resilient performance to beat reigning World Champions Germany 3-0 in the Men’s FIH Pro League 2023-24 match here in the Lee Valley Hockey Stadium in London on Saturday.

Goals by Harmanpreet Singh (16′), Sukhjeet Singh (41′) and Gurjant Singh (44′) helped India begin their final leg of the prestigious league in the right stead.

There was plenty of action in the opening quarter with both teams playing on-par with each other. While Sukhjeet Singh and Mandeep Singh stood tall in the forward line, creating some insatiable chances, the team’s experienced goalkeeper PR Sreejesh was put through the hard yards with the Germans winning a flurry of PCs in the opening minutes.

But Sreejesh proved just why he remains the cynosure of India’s defence. The save he made off Gonzalo Peillat’s powerful flick, putting his right hand up high, was particularly a joyous moment for India fans.

Starting the second quarter with the scoreboard reading 0-0, India made the first breakthrough – thanks to the skipper Harmanpreet Singh who was on-target, aiming to the left of German keeper Alexander Stadler. The chance was created by Hardik in the midfield, coming up with a brilliant pass into the circle. Controlling the ball really well, Sukhjeet earned India their first PC.

The following few minutes, felt like the pace of the game had dropped a tad bit with neither making hay of the chances created. Though Germany won a PC, dangerman Peillat was kept at bay by Sreejesh. Yet another quick-reflex right-hand save by the talisman meant India would go into the half-time break with a narrow 1-0 lead.

The third quarter was crucial for India to extend their lead and they did exactly that. They dominated with improvised ball possession and pacy attack. Sukhjeet and Abhishek were responsible for India’s second goal in the 41st minute. Striker Sukhjeet, in sublime form, received the ball on the left flank, dribbled towards the circle only to find Abhishek.

Dribbling the ball past German defenders, Abhishek showed brilliant 3D skills only to pass the ball back to Sukhjeet who came up with a fine finish. Three minutes later, Gurjant Singh scored India’s third goal after a superb assist by Jarmanpreet Singh.

With a comfortable 3-0 lead, India looked to end the game on a high in the fourth quarter. While India defended well, the young German side hunted for an elusive goal. Though they won back-to-back PCs in this quarter, India held strong to keep a clean sheet. 

With this win, they gained three points to remain third on the points table behind the Netherlands and Argentina respectively. 

The Indian men’s hockey team will take on Great Britain in their next match at 1645 hrs IST on 2nd June.

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