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Indians salvage pride

New Delhi: Indian hockey salvaged some pride at the Dhyan Chand Stadium here on Monday night, when they held Olympic and European champions Germany 3-3, in the concluding pool A tie of the Hockey World League (HWL) Final.

While the draw could not save India from finishing last in the four-team group, it was definitely a huge morale booster for a side that lost their previous two matches rather tamely.

India could have easily emerged winners had their players showed little more application. Leading 3-2 with only five minutes left for the final hooter, striker SV Sunil missed the easiest opportunity of the day when he hit out with an open goal in front.

India opened the scoring in the 19th minute when VR Raghunath’s free hit from the 25 yards went in, being deflecting off a defender. Germany restored parity five minute later through Oliver Korn, who converted a penalty corner.

It was also the first time in this meet that India looked good with penalty corners. Out of the four they earned, they scored twice. Man of the Match and drag flicker Rupinder Pal Singh put India in the lead in the 33rd minute, but a defensive lapse allowed Pit Arnold to make it 2-2.