Mixed success for world champions Germany

Germany’s men have resumed the FIH Pro League with mixed success. The new world champions started the mini-tournament in Rourkela with a 3-2 loss to hosts India. Australia won (1-0) a day later. The Kookaburras then also lost against India (5-4), which was top-scored with two wins under interim national coach David John.

Six weeks after winning the world title, Germany returned to Indian soil. National coach Andre Henning chose the trip for his mix of World Cup players and several young players, and with the European Championships in Mönchengladbach in mind this summer.

Full house

In front of nearly 22,000 spectators at the Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium, India took a 3-0 lead in the third quarter thanks to two goals by Sukhjeet Singh. The Germans battled back into the game, but conceded two goals. The loss could have been more, but in the closing stages Harmanpreet Singh curled his penalty over Alexander Stadler’s goal.

Goalkeeper Jean-Paul Danneberg of Germany in action against Australia during the FIH Pro League in Rourkela, India. Photo: FIH

A day later, he walked off the field as 1–0 winners against Australia. It was a repeat of the World Cup’s spectacular semi-final battle in which the Germans booked their place in the final prematurely. This time the scoring was very low. Malde Helvik scored from a penalty corner midway through the first quarter. The Australians were allowed to score five times from the head of the circle, but keeper Jean-Paul Danneberg kept a clean sheet.

Australia’s second defeat

Australia ended the mini-tournament with a 5-4 loss to India. It was already their fourth regular season loss in six games, as they still led but then fell behind. Although Australia managed to score a goal, India scored four consecutive runs and did not relinquish the lead. Harmanpreet Singh scored three goals in the Indian team.

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The teams will play each other again this week before the FIH Pro League resumes on April 22 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Then New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain are active.

India are jubilant after scoring one of their five goals against Australia during the FIH Pro League in Rourkela. Photo: FIH

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