Johar Bahru: Indian junior team failed to impress when it mattered the most as they lost 2-3 to Germany in the summit clash in the Sultan of Johar Cup hockey tournament here on Sunday. After an unbeaten outing in league stages, the Indian team could not rise to the occasion and committed silly mistakes to hand Germany the upper-hand from the start.
The Indians began the final match as favourites having beaten Germany 3-1 in the league stages but had to be content with a runners-up finish. It took Germany just 11 minutes to take the lead when Jonas Gomoll scored from their first penalty corner.
The Indians, however, got their acts together and drew parity in the 24th minute through Satbir Singh's field goal. In the subsequent five minutes, India got two very good chances to surge ahead. German custodian Victor denied them on the first occasion while luck did not favour India in the next opportunity.
While Victor pulled off a brilliant save to deny India from its first penalty corner, Akashdeep was unlucky to have hit the German post in the 29th minute. Germany, however, did not waste the opportunity that came their way with Joshua Delarber making it 2-1 in the 30th minute from a penalty corner.
After the change of ends, the Germans continued to dominate the proceedings and scored their third goal in the 49th minute from the sticks of Florian Adrians. The Indians, thereafter, tried hard to make a comeback into the match and achieved some success in the process when Akashdeep scored a field goal just three minutes from the hooter to reduce the margin to 2-3.
But Akashdeep's goal came too late as India hardly got any time thereafter to level the scores and take the match into extra-time. Australia finished third after beating Pakistan 3-2 in extra time. The Kookaburras almost blew away a 2-0 lead and needed a goal in additional time to beat Pakistan.