India lose 1-2 to Germany, out of Shastri hockey final race
New Delhi: India produced a lackluster display to crash out of the title race of the 22nd Lal Bahadur Shastri under-21 women`s hockey tournament after losing 1-2 to Germany on Friday.
Laura Saenger (35th, 38th minute) scored in each half for Germany, while Jaspreet Kaur (12th minute) was the lone goal-getter for the home team.
Germany will now play New Zealand in the title clash on Saturday after the Kiwis beat Australia 3-1 in another league match.
India will now face Australia in the third-fourth place classification match on Saturday.
Contrary to the result, it was the Indian eves who started on a bright note and created their first scoring chance as early as in the eighth minute, only to see Anupa Barla failing to get past the German goalkeeper.
The Indians, however, managed to take the lead four minutes later when Jaspreet converted the lone penalty stroke of the match after Navjot Kaur was brought down inside the box by a German defender.
Stung by the early goal, Germany came hard on the Indians thereafter by creating regular opportunities but goals eluded them.
The Germans, however, restored parity just at the stroke of the half time when Saenger scored from a short corner, last of the three they got in a span of just three minutes.
Riding on the momentum, Germany doubled their just three minutes into the second half with Saenger converting another penalty corner for her side.
From there on, India tried desperately to force their way back into the match. The midfield creating enough scoring chances but a sloppy forward line disappointed the home team.
The Indians were also undone by poor short corner conversion.
India wasted a golden chance in the 55th minute as unmarked skipper Poonam Rani failed to get past the German goalkeeper.
"The girls fought hard but we luck deserted us. The last minute goal in the first half was decisive," said a disappointed India coach B K Subramani.
He also rued missed opportunities but added that some decisions did not go in their favour.
"Penalty corners remain to be a problem besides we missed some crucial chances.
"Umpiring was also not upto the standard, we got some poor decisions against us which benefited the opposition," Subramani said.
The coach said even though it would be difficult to lift the morale of the girls after today`s defeat, the hosts will try to come out all guns blazing against the Australians on Saturday.
The German coach, meanwhile, hailed the Indian team for their superb performance, saying his wards were "lucky to win today".
Meanwhile, against Australia, New Zealand scored through Natasha Cotton (18th, 19th minute) and Sian Fremaux (52nd).
For Australia, skipper Brooke Peris (20th) was the lone goal scorer.