Punjab Gold Cup: India go down to Germany, Netherlands in final (Lead)

February 6th, 2009 - 10:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Feb 6 (IANS) Hosts India tasted their first defeat as they went down 2-4 to Olympic champions Germany in the Punjab Gold Cup hockey tournament at Sector-42 stadium here Friday.Germany, thus, logged their first win in the tournament and also avenged their first-round loss to India.

For Germany, Jan Philipp Rabente (14th minute), Lim Kevin (21st), Moritz Furste (34th) and skipper Tobias Hauke (38th) scored, while Tushar Khandekar (12th) and captain Sandeep Singh (64th) found the goals for India.

In another match, the Netherlands outplayed New Zealand 4-1 to reach the final.

India, who are on eight points, need a draw in their last league match against New Zealand Saturday to set up a summit clash with the Netherlands.

However, a loss would mean that they will have to depend on the result of Germany’s last league match against the Netherlands. Germany’s win Saturday will take them to eight points and in that case the team with better goal difference will sneak into Monday’s final.

Despite getting an early breakthrough, India were pushed on the backfoot as Germany showed their class and dominated the 70 minutes through their attacking play.

Khandekar gave India an early lead as he latched on to a long pass from Rajpal Singh before hitting a reverse flick into the goalpost.

However, Germany equalised through mid-fielder Rabente after two minutes.

German defender Kevin struck in the 21st minute to give his team a 2-1 lead. In the 34th minute, Germany got their first penalty corner and Furste made it 3-1.

Continuing their dominance in the second half, Hauke increased the lead to 4-1 when he hit a long pass into the Indian goalpost.

Desperation was writ large on the faces of Indian players as they made some good moves but failed to convert these into goals.

They wasted two penalty corners in 53rd and 57th minute before skipper Sandeep converted the third in 63rd minute.

In the first match of the day, European champions the Netherlands thoroughly outclassed New Zealand 4-1.

Rob Teckers (24th minute), Lucas Judge (31st), Wouter Jolie (41st) and Jeroen Hertzberger (69th) scored for The Netherlands while New Zealand’s only goal came from Nick Haig (63rd).

The Netherlands clearly dominated the Black Sticks and led 2-0 in the first half.

The Dutch team took the lead when Reckers sounded the board. Seven minutes later, Judge converted a penalty corner for a 2-0 lead.

New Zealand pulled up their socks in the beginning of the second half when striker Simon Child moved single-handedly, dribbling the ball into the opponent’s corner but could not give the finishing touch.

Wouter Jolie put the Dutch in a comfortable position by converting a penalty corner in the 41st minute.

Kiwi defender Haig scored the consolation goal through a penalty corner in the 63rd minute.

In the dying moments of the game, Hertzberger increased the lead of the Dutch team to 4-1 when he intercepted a long pass and hit it into the Kiwi goal.

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