How German Goalkeeper Mali Wichmann Plays Spoiler Against Profligate India!

Winless in the first two games of the FIH Pro League, Germany would owe a large chunk of their first win to their goalkeeper Mali Wichmann for not just effecting four high-quality saves but also for taking an intelligent video referral in the shootout after Sushila Chanu – playing in her 200th international – slotted home cooly but was denied after video umpire Raghua Prasad upheld Wichmaan’s claim that it was a drag-flick. Indian eves made heavy weather of the shootout, bungling on four occasions save for a solitary conversion by Navneet Kaur. Mali Wichmann literally made Indian shootout-takers look like novices.

Read Stats Corner: India-Germany Women Head-to-Head Record

The 9th ranked hosts would rue the fact that they could not build on their advantage of scoring the opening goal that was orchestrated Salima Tete – the Jharkhand lass, who had scored a dazzling solo goal against Spain – launched a fiery run on the left and set it up for Navneet Kaur to draw first blood. Cheered on by the Indian men’s team in the stands, Germany did not take long to bring the game on level terms. Stine Kurz’s drag-flick of a penalty corner routine and the subsequent rebound shot by Lilly Stoffelsma were saved by Savita but the Indian skipper could not do much as Carlotta Sippel taped home at the near post.

Read 200th International Milestone for Dependable Sushila Chanu

Germany largely fielded a young side – they had one member of the Tokyo Olympics squad in Jette Fleschutz, which indicated the kind of bench strength they possess. The Indian girls on their part, were guilty of being not able to control possession – there was mispasses galore and that allowed Germany to hold sway. Germany did lose their struture a tad in the closing stages of the second quarter but showed more discipline as they regained their structure in the second half. The Indian defence that unleashed debutant Akshata Dhekale, were under the pump as the German forward duo of Carlotta Sippel and Sara Strauss tormented the Indian defence. India must consider themselves lucky on two occasions – Strauss banged the crossbar in the first half and in the second half Udita pulled off a goal-line save after Stine Kurz’s PC drag-flick appeared to have rolled in beating Savita – surprisingly Germany did not go upstairs for a video referral.

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The Indian forwardline featuring a slew of youngsters including debutant Deepika Junior Sangita Kumar, and Jyoti had their opportunities, but they could not quite capitalise on them. Barring the Navneet Kaur goal, Indian fowardline were disappointing. Their inability to create PCs hurt the team (India earned their first short corner midway through the third quarter, which is a fair reflection of how our forwards shaped up).

This was Germany’s 14th win over India. India will look to correct the wrongs of Saturdays and come out with a blazing performance on Sunday.