Holland hold India with late goal
India staged a magnificent rally after being twice in arrears but were forced to settle for a 3-3 draw with Olympic champions The Netherlands in the second match of the men's Champions Trophy hockey tournament in Cologne, Germany, on Saturday.
The Indians, who earned a place in the tournament after a five-year gap by virtue of being winners of the Champions Challenge, could have snatched full points after taking the lead for the first time in the match in the 69th minute, but their inability to hold possession in the last minute allowed the Dutch to force three successive penalty-corners and score from the third in the dying seconds of the match to force a 3-3 tie.
India, who had lost to Holland 2-5 in the four-nation tournament in Amstelveen last week, put up a splendid show and, with a little bit of luck, should have emerged winners. They discarded their pleasing stick-work and dribbles and opted for short passing, which upset the rhythm of the Dutchmen.
But they conceded a soft goal and allowed Holland to go ahead in the 11th minute from a penalty-corner. Taeke Taekema's drag flick, though not-too-powerful, beat goalkeeper Devesh Chauhan.
They staged a strong fightback thereafter and restored parity in the 21st minute, when Jugraj Singh converted a penalty-stroke, which was awarded after Prabhjot Singh was obstructed when ideally placed.
However, a goal a few seconds from half-time saw them fall into arrears again. Their defence was caught napping from a counter offensive as Matthijs Brouwer found a narrow gap and deflected home a free-hit from just outside the circle to make it 2-1. Two chances and the Dutch managed to score.
The Indians came back after the breather and made inroads into Dutch territory. They should have been rewarded for their efforts in the 45th minute, but Dutch goalkeeper Guus Vogels did well to stop a stiff shot from Gagan Ajit Singh. Three minutes later, the keeper saved a stiff Dilip Tirkey penalty-corner hit.
But the Dutch citadel fell in the 60th minute. Off their third penalty-corner, India scored from an indirect variation. After Deepak Thakur pushed, Dhanraj Pillay relayed the ball to Prabhjot Singh. The latter beat a defender and returned the pass for the veteran forward to push home and make the score 2-2.
With a minute to go, India went ahead for the first time in the match. A quick offensive down the right saw Dilip Tirkey send a long pass to Thakur, who advanced a few paces and centred the ball to Prabhjot Singh in the circle. The last named trapped and hit home in a jiffy.
India appeared to have settled the issue, but like in the first half, their defence was caught napping after the restart. The Dutch forced three successive penalty-corners and once again it was Matthijs Brouwer, who threw himself forward to deflect home Taeke Taekema's feeble flick for the equaliser.
Germany beat Pakistan with late goals
Two goals in the dying minutes of the match gave eight-time champions Germany a 3-2 victory over Pakistan in the opening match.
The World champions stole the lead midway through the first half, but found themselves in arrears as thrice champions Pakistan struck twice on either side of the breather and held on till the 66th minute.
Oliver Domke put the hosts into the lead in the 19th minute from a swift counter attack. The wily forward made a breezy run and slammed home, high into the net, past goalkeeper Ahmed Alam, much to the dismay of the Pakistanis.
But the Germans' joy was shortlived as Kashif Jawad restored parity for Pakistan, after receiving a pass from Nadeem, within two minutes.
Captain Muhammed Sarwar made it 2-1 for Pakistan in the 51st minute, scoring from a penalty-stroke, which was awarded after Florian Kunz stopped a goal-bound shot from Nadeem with his foot.
But though Pakistan pressed for another goal and looked dangerous always, Germany drew level much against the run of play. After Pakistan wasted a penalty-corner in the 61st minute, Kunz was on target from the drill at the other end five minutes later to make it 2-2.
The goal demoralised the Pakistanis. A counter attack down the middle by the Germans split the defence and Björn Emmerling did well to capitalise on an opportunity to net the winner in the last minute of the match.
South Korea shock Australia 3-2
In the concluding match of the day, South Korea rallied from a goal down to beat Australia 3-2.
Nathan Eglington put the Aussies ahead in the 19th minute with a field goal but the Koreans restored parity a minute from half-time when Woon Kon Yeo scored of a penalty-corner.
Kon Yeo scored again in the 57th minute, this time from a field goal, before Jong Hyun Hwang could make it 3-1 three minutes later.
The Aussies fought back and managed to pull one back in the 65th minute through a field goal from Michael McCann. But that was all they could manage. The Koreans held on to emerge deserving winners.
Champions Trophy 2002: The Complete Coverage