Rourkela: India did a double on Germany, emerging 6-3 winners against the world champions to jump to the top of the table in the FIH Hockey Pro League here on Monday.
Abhishek (22nd, 51st) and Selvam Karthi (24th, 46th) led India’s goal rush as the Harmanpreet Singh-led side bounced back after conceding first to secure a hat-trick of wins in the tournament.
This was India’s second win over Germany in three days and took them atop the table with five victories (17 points).
India (+8) are ahead of Spain (+6) on goal difference. In the first leg on Friday, India defeated the World Cup champions 3-2.
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Fresh from a thrilling 5-4 win against Australia, India conceded an early goal when Tom Grambusch gave his team a third-minute lead by slamming in a penalty corner.
But India soon got into the act with Jugraj Singh converting a penalty corner in the 21st minute, before Abhishek snatched a lead moments later.
Selvam Karthi and skipper Harmanpreet Singh (26th) ensured that they were up 4-2 at half time. Coming off a hat-trick against Australia, this was the captain’s 11th goal of the Pro League season.
For Germany, Gonzalo Peillat (23rd, PC) and Malte Hellwig (31st) struck the remaining goals.
Germany upped the ante after the half time and made it 4-3 with a delightful attack down the left.
An onrushing Kaufmann fed the ball to Miltkau who showed superb control and set it up for Hellwig to dive and get the crucial touch to put it past Pawan.
Germany were relentless with their attacks and credit should be given to Pawan for thwarting all their moves and maintaining their 4-3 lead at the end of the third quarter.
A minute into the final quarter, Tamil Nadu forward Karthi completed his brace from a square pass by Jarmanpreet Singh from the right.
Tom Grambusch failed in his attempt to stop the pass as Karthi latched on to the opportunity to make it 5-3.
Abhishek then brought up his double, utilising a powerful cross by Dilpreet Singh to complete the scoreline.
The German defence slowly crumbled under pressure as India registered one of their biggest wins over the world champions. The biggest win over Germany remains the 8-1 victory at Berlin Olympics in 1936.
India will conclude the Rourkela leg with a reverse-leg fixture against Australia on Wednesday.