The Indian men’s hockey team started their Europe tour with a thumping 6-1 win over 2016 Rio Olympics Bronze medallist Germany in Krefeld, last Sunday. This was the first international match the Indian team played since the FIH Hockey Pro League matches against Australia in Bhubaneswar, last year.
Starving of international action for more than 12 months owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian men’s hockey team coached side were looking forward to the Europe tour as vital preparations ahead of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. As a matter of fact, the Graham Reid-coached side started the tour with a thumping 6-1 win over 2016 Rio Olympics Bronze medallist Germany in Krefeld, last Sunday.
Germany had to admit that they were punished by India for the mistakes they made throughout the game. The goals came from Nilakanta Sharma (13th minute), Vivek Sagar Prasad (27th & 27th), Lalit Upadhyay (41st), Akashdeep Singh (42nd), and Harmanpreet Singh (47th), while the hosts’ lone strike came from Constantin Staib when they levelled the scores 1-1 in the 14th minute.
This was the first international match the Indian team played since the FIH Hockey Pro League matches against Australia in Bhubaneswar, last year. In spite of the win, it was disappointing that the match was played in front of empty stands with the Indian fans missing out on such an emphatic win, especially against a heavyweight like Germany Adding to that, there was no live streaming of the match, which was quite surprising considering it was an international tie.
India is scheduled to play their next game of the tour against Germany on March 2. Following this, the contingent will travel to Belgium, where they will lock-horns with Great Britain on March 6 and March 8.