India Comfortably Breach Germany Frontier
There was not much to write home about Andre Henning-coached Germans in the first leg tie. The Honamas needed to brush aside the cobwebs of the first leg blues and dish out a strong performance. But it was the Amit Rohidas-captained Indian outfit packed it far too much ammunition to sneak out a 3-1 win over Germany – a win that puts India comfortably at the top of the points table with 27 points from 12 matches. India now tough away games against Olympic champions Belgium and the Netherlands in the second and third week of June.
Read Stats Corner: India-Germany Men Head-to-Head Record
It was India who threw the early punches with a string of incisive raids. Akashdeep Singh and Abhishek were at the forefront of the early Indian raids but they were not albe to translate those chances into goals. Akashdeep, who appeared to be in fine fettle in the first leg, was a bag of nerves, fumbling more than one occasion with the final finish. The Punjab Police player bungled a sitter when he just had to get his stick to a nifty pass by Manpreet Singh.
Read India Assert Superiority over Disappointing Germany
The disappointment of missed opportunities by India was soon forgotten when Punjab National Bank-employed Sukhjeet Singh gave India in the second quarter – he deflected a superb assist by Nilakanta Sharma – who has now carved out a reputation for feeding goal-scoring passes – one vividly remembers how he set up Simranjeet Singh to score in the Tokyo Olympic bronze medal play-off tie against Germany.
Read India Would Strive to Halt Germany’s Winning Run!
Germany was far from looking like novices on the pitch. They appeared promising with their passes but seemed to run out of ideas once they tread into the Indian ‘D’. India made them pay for their lack of intent and purpose upfront, doubling the lead after Varun Kumar whipped home India’s second shortie after Harmanpreet Singh was denied by German goalkeeper Jean Danneberg. Germany need to summon desperate measures and they choose the closing seconds of the third quarter to announce their comeback in the match. Antol Boeckel provided that comeback goal as he belted home after Paul Smith wrong-footed Surender Kumar and fed him even as an onrushing Sreejesh was caught napping.
Read After Early Exit of Defending Champions Punjab, 2021 Runners-Up Uttar Pradesh Bow Out in Quarterfinals of Senior Nationals
India nipped any German fightback aspirations in the bud when Nilakanta Sharma delivered a telling pass to Abhishek, whose tomahawk brooked no answer from Jean Danneberg. Abhishek’s goal was just the insurance goal India needed in their bid to avoid last-minute anxious moments. This is India’s 23rd win over Germany in 103 international meetings.