Rosario: The Indian eves' disastrous hockey World Cup campaign continued as they lost 1-4 to Germany to complete a hat-trick of defeats in the quadrennial event.
India's third consecutive defeat in Pool A means the Surinder Kaur-led side is still without points in the tournament and are virtually out of the medal race. The comprehensive victory, however, took Germany one step closer towards the semi-final spot after having won all their three pool matches so far.
Germany had four different goal-scorers in the match in Eileen Hoffmann (22nd minute), Maike Stoekel (32nd), Natascha Keller (37th) and Lydia Haase (49th).
While for India, the ever-impressive Rani Rampal sounded the board to become the joint top scorer of the tournament along with Maartje Paumen of the Netherlands with four goals each.
India will next play Japan in their penultimate pool match on Sunday while Germany will be up against defending champions Netherlands. As was the case in their earlier two matches, the Indian eves were slow to get off the blocks which gave Germany the upper hand from the onset.
But despite having better exchanges in the initial stages of the match, it took the Germans 22 minutes to break the deadlock when Hoffmann converted the only penalty corner out of the four they earned.
Germany's celebrations were short-lived as 15-year-old Rampal scored from open play to level the scores. The Germans, however, restored their lead three minutes from the breather when a diving Stoekel pushed in a cross pass from the right past Indian custodian Dipika Murthy.
A minute later, India could have drawn parity from their first short corner but for an alert German goalkeeper Kristina Reynolds who thwarted any danger to her goal. But after the change of ends, it was all Germany with evergreen striker Keller showing her creativity with the stick.
Keller's effort bore fruit early in the second period when she scored from a penalty stroke to give Germany it's first goal from the spot. Haase completed the scoreline for Germany in the 49th minute when she scored from an open play.
From there on, India pressed hard for a comeback into the match, mounting continuous pressure on the Germany defence but Reynolds stood firm to deny the the team.
Meanwhile in other matches of Pool A, the Netherlands defeated Australia 4-1 while Japan and New Zealand played out a 2-2 draw.