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Spirited India hold Olympic champions Germany to a draw

Monday, 13 January 2014 - 10:02pm IST | Agency: PTI

 India came up with a spirited performance to draw with Olympic champions Germany 3-3 and register their first win at the Hero Hockey World League Finals here today.

India left behind the memories of their opening two defeats against England (0-2) and New Zealand (1-3) and dished out a much-better display to hold the world number one opponents to a draw at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

Unilke their previous two games, the Indians looked far more organised and coordinated against the reigning Olympic champions and were the better side throughout the match.

If not for a late defensive lapse from skipper Sardar Singh, India could have pocketed full three points from their final Pool A game.

Thilo Stralkowski saved Germany from defeat by slotting home from close range in the 68th minute after Sardar failed to make an easy clearance inside the circle.

Unexpectedly, the Indians were the better side on display in the first half and dominated the share of possession.

The Indian midfield and the forwardline combined to create a number of opportunities, which were missing in the first two games against England and New Zealand.

The defence, which is India's perennial problem, too lived upto the expectations to deny Germany any major inroads at least in the opening 35 minutes.

India pressed hard and got the first scoring opportunity in the 12th minute when they earned their first penalty corner but the German goalkeeper Tim Jessulat was upto the task to deny V R Ragunath.

The Germans were not to be left behind as four minutes later they earned their first penalty corner but Indian custodian P R Sreejesh came up with a fine save to deny Thilo Stralkowski.

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