Hockey World League Final: India beat Germany 5-4 to clinch

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Old 17-Jan-2014
Hockey World League Final: India beat Germany 5-4 to clinch

India defeated Olympic champions Germany in the Hockey World League Finalís 5-8 places classification play-off.

India staged a thrilling comeback, from being 2-0 down to win it in the dying seconds, courtesy of a penalty corner. Both India and Germany had been knocked out from the tournaments in the quarterfinals, and faced each other in what was a repeat of their group match, which India and Germany drew 3-3.

German captain Oliver Korn opened the scoring in the 4th minute, before Stralkowski doubled their lead in the 6th minute. India created a few chances thereafter and spurned many easy chances, including one with an open goal.

Mandeep Singh pulled one back for India in the 17th minute, after which India defended exceptionally to save a penalty corner. Germany though again regained the 2-goal cushion, courtesy of a goal from Wess in the 27th minute. The first half ended with the same score.

India spurned chances early in the second half, with some pretty solid defending from Germany. Three minutes into the second half, Rupinder Pal Singh reduced Indiaís deficit with a goal from a penalty corner, before Mandeep equalized in the 41st minute.

Thereafter, Germany missed a penalty before Mandeep completed his hat-trick, 15 minutes into the second half, to help India lead for the first time in the match. Germany came back to force a penalty corner, while Raghunath was sent out for charging early and it cost India, as Germany equalized off the penalty corner.

In the dying moments, with both teams trying for the winning goal, India were awarded a penalty corner with 30 seconds left on the clock. Rupinder Pal stepped up and scored the winner, in what was effectively the last play of the game, and India had completed a magnificent fight back to win after trailing 1-3 at half-time.

It was Indiaís first win at the tournament and also a first ever win over Germany at an international FIH event.

India will now play Belgium in the 5th Ė 6th play-off match on Sunday.

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