FIH Pro League 2023-24: Indian women go down 2-4 to Germany, suffer seventh consecutive loss

The India women’s hockey team could not break its sequence of half-a-dozen consecutive losses in the FIH Pro League, losing to Germany 2-4, its seventh consecutive defeat in the tournament here on Saturday.

Sunelita (9th) and Deepika (15th) scored superb field goals to give India a huge morale-boosting 2-0 lead but soon saw it being cancelled out by Germany’s Viktoria Huse, who converted penalty corners in the 23rd and 32nd minutes to bring her team on level terms.

Stinne Kurz (51st) then converted a penalty corner before Jule Bleuel scored a field goal in the 55th minute to pile on more misery on the Indians.

The latest defeat comes after India had lost four of its matches against Belgium and Argentina in Antwerp last month and then succumbed to defeats against Germany (1-3) and Great Britain (2-3) here last weekend.

Stung by half-a-dozen losses over the course of a fortnight, India started much better on Saturday with Lalremsiami leading the way in the initial minutes.

The veteran forward first created some space to drag the ball into the circle and then took a powerful shot at the goal, only for German goalkeeper Julia Sonntag to thwart it in the nick of time.

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The midfield then set up a perfect ball for an unmarked Sunelita in the ninth minute as the teenager put it across Sonntag to give India the lead.

Deepika then gave a proper lesson on how to score on the counter when she deftly snatched the ball in the midfield and ran forward with Vandana Katariya for company.

Katariya drew Sonntag out before relaying the ball to Deepika who tapped it in with ease just two seconds before the end of the first quarter.

However, German penalty-corner specialist Viktoria converted two penalty corners, one each in the second and third quarter, as India’s lead evaporated.

Deepika made some good runs into the circle in the second half, but was unable to time her shots for maximum impact.

The last quarter of play was a story of complete domination for German forwards who unleased a barrage of attacks to overpower the Indian defence.

India will play Great Britain in its last Pro League match on Sunday.

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