FIH Pro League: Sukhjeet Singh brace helps India beat Germany 3-2

Captain Harmanpreet Singh scored off a penalty corner to give India the lead against Germany. Hockey India

The Indian Men's Hockey Team clinched a 3-2 win against World Champions Germany in the FIH Hockey Pro League. Captain Harmanpreet Singh opened the scoring with a fierce drag-flick, before Sukhjeet Singh scored twice for India while Paul-Philipp Kaufmann and Michel Struthoff scored for Germany.

The hosts resumed their home games in style with a clinical performance against the Germans even though it was the world champions who got off to a strong start with back-to-back PCs being created in the first two quarters. However, India held their nerves in PC defence to keep a clean slate.

Striker Abhishek's efforts in the circle in the later part of the second quarter finally brought the momentum India were vying for. Up until then, attempts by strikers Gurjant Singh and Dilpreet Singh in the initial minutes of the game were put away by German 'keeper Alexander Stadler.

Abhishek's quick thinking in his tackle to surge ahead inside the striking circle forced a German infringement that earned the home team their first PC of the match. Harmanpreet Singh fiercely put away a drag-flick into the right corner giving India a much-needed lead, even if not fully-deserved.

India built on that lead with a quick start to the second half. A brilliant pass by Jarmanpreet Singh sliced the German defence open, to find a perfect deflection by Sukhjeet Singh who put India two goals to the good. 11 minutes later, Sukhjeet struck again when Manpreet Singh powered a long pass from the midfield to the striking circle which was picked up well by youngster S Karthi who then assisted Sukhjeet to score his second goal of the match and India's third against a formidable German defence.

The visitors, though, managed a goal in the 45th minute when Elian Mazkour set-up Paul-Philipp Kaufmann to score. India showcased some superb deep defence in the final moments of the match with Germany pulling out their goalkeeper and adding an extra man to their attack. Always known to finish well, Germany tucked in a goal with just over two minutes left for the final hooter. It was Hannes Muller who set up the goal by Michel Struthoff.

The action didn't end there with India being awarded a penalty stroke in the dying seconds of the match but Harmanpreet couldn't convert the goal but eventually held on to the 3-2 lead and earned the three points.