Punjab Gold Cup: India lose 2-4 to Germany

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/h/hockey3.jpg' class='caption'> India suffered their first defeat in the Punjab Gold Cup hockey, going down 2-4 to World champions Germany on Friday.

Updated: February 06, 2009 17:28 IST
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India suffered their first defeat in the Punjab Gold Cup hockey, going down 2-4 to World champions Germany on Friday.

The hosts have eight points from five matches and will have to wait for on Saturday to see if they can seal a berth in the finals against Holland on Monday.

Holland secured a berth in the finals, defeating New Zealand 4-1 in an earlier match on Friday. They now have 11 points.

India will take on New Zealand, while Germany and Holland will face off in the sixth and last match in the second leg between on Saturday.

India just needs a draw on Saturday to reach to nine points, while a win for Germany will give them three points taking them to eight points.

India would be hoping that Germany does not beat undefeated Holland by a huge margin and that they themselves don't lose badly to Kiwis as the second finalist will be then decided on the basis of better goal difference.

India draw first blood in the 12th minute when Tushar Khandekar sounded the post with his reverse hit that beat German goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi but the joy was shortlived as the Germans found the equalizer in the 14th minute through Jan Philipp Rabente.

The Germans soon raised a counter attack and the Indian defence looked in complete disarray. The Germans exploited the opportunity better and in the 21st minute their forwards were all over the opposition's striking circle as Lim Kevin took his team 2-0 up.

Mortiz Furste further added to the miseries of the hosts, materialising the first penalty corner Germany earned for a goal to take his team 3-1 up in the 34th minute.

The Indian defence was caught napping yet again in the 38th minute when Tobias pumped in the fourth goal for the visitors.

With just 15 minutes to go, Bharat Chikkara missed a sitter when he failed to trap a good pass from Rajpal Singh in the striking area.

Indians missed another golden chance when their forwards had goalkeeper Jacobi drawn out, but Rajpal who was possession of the ball failed to hit the nets.

The hosts also failed to capitalise after the Germans were reduced to 10 men in the second half with Rabente shown the yellow card.

India got three penalty corners in the second half but skipper and drag-flicker Sandeep Singh could convert only one of them in the 64th minute.

India had defeated Germany 2-0 in their last match.

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