India lose 1-2 to Germany in women’s U-21 hockey

November 11th, 2011 - 8:14 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 11 (IANS) Germany defeated India 2-1 to set-up a title clash with New Zealand in the four-nation women’s under-21 hockey tournament at the National Stadium here Friday.

Laura Saenger converted two penalty corners within four minutes on either side of the half-time to seal the victory for the Germans.

India, who were leading the table going into the last league match, struck in the 12th minute through Jaspreet Kaur’s penalty stroke, but could not maintain the tempo as the strongly-built German side slowly got the match in their grasp.

India will now play Australia, who went down 2-3 to New Zealand in another match Friday, in the third-place play-off.

The Indian girls looked downcast as the hooter went off. They had played well in the tournament and a draw would have carried them to the Saturday’s final.

India, with their speed and skill, began on a attacking note and in the seventh minute Anupa Barla had only goalkeeper Friederike Schreiter to beat, but her feeble shot was saved.

Five minutes later, India got a penalty stroke after Navjot Kaur was brought down by Schreiter. Jaspreet slammed the ball in the left corner of the goal to hand India the lead.

Germany stepped up the attack and got five short corners before Laura found her range with a clean strike, just before the breather.

Three minutes into the second half and Laura put Germany ahead with another neat short corner conversion. The match then entered its most interesting phase with both teams trying to create opportunities. India wasted two penalty corners while on another occasion, captain Poonam Rani, who was a livewire on the field, could not do justice to Navneet Kaur’s centre.

As the clock ticked, Indian players slackened in pace and energy and could not breach the tight German defence.

“It was a hard-fought game. We missed some penalty corners as also the first chance. It proved crucial. I was not happy with the umpiring,” said India coach B.K. Subramani.

The first match of the day was a keen contest with New Zealand beating Australia 3-2. New Zealand led 2-0 with Natasha Cotton scoring both the goals (18th min, 19th min) and Australia pulled one back in the 20th minute through captain Peris Brooke’s strike.

Sian Fremaux gave New Zealand a 3-1 lead in the 52nd minute, before Australia narrowed down the margin through Penny Squibb’s penalty corner strike.

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