India lose to Germany 1-4 in semifinal of FIH junior men’s hockey World Cup

Kuala Lumpur: Penalty corner woes continued to haunt India as they failed to convert even once from 12 shots to lose 1-4 to a clinical Germany in the semifinal of junior men’s hockey World Cup here on Thursday.
Six-time champions Germany, on the other hand, earned just two penalty corners in the whole match but scored on both the occasions.
The Indian team will need a lot of soul-searching as it was inexplicable not to score even once from a dozen penalty corners in such a crucial stage of the showpiece.
The Indians had produced a spectacular display of grit and character to prevail over the Netherlands, ranked fourth in the world, in the quarterfinal on Tuesday in their 4-3 win, but penalty corner conversion let them down on Thursday.
Ben Hasbach struck a brace with goals in the eighth (field goal) and 30th minute (penalty corner) to give Germany a 2-1 lead at half-time. Sudeep Chirmako (11th) scored the solitary goal for India with a field effort.
The mighty Germans then consolidated their lead with a clinical penalty corner conversion by Glander Paul (41st), while Florian Sperling’s 58th minute field strike completed the formalities.
Last edition runners-up Germany will face the winner of the other semifinal between France and Spain in the summit clash.
India will play for the bronze medal on Saturday.
The first quarter was an evenly contested one with Chirmako cancelling out Hasbach’s goal.
After a midfield lapse, Hasbach took control of the ball to score from the rebound and give Germany the lead.
Chirmako equalised for India with a splendid shot as the German goalkeeper came forward to narrow the angle but the Indian kept him at bay to slot it home from the edge of the circle. That goal was, however, the only bright spot for the Indian team.
India could have got the upper hand had they converted at least one of the four PCs they earned. But it was not to be.
The second quarter was even worse as the Uttam Singh-led side wasted all the six PCs they earned in quick succession. India paid the price as Germany scored from a PC taken by Hasbach.
Paul scored from another penalty corner in the third quarter to give Germany 3-1 lead. Sperling then settled the issue two minutes from final hooter when he struck from a rebound.
The Indian junior men’s team has now lost to Germany five out of five times this year. India had also lost to the same opponents (2-4) in the semifinals of the 2021 edition in Bhubaneswar.

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