India completed a double over 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 onslaught of goals as Harmanpreet Singh’s side rallied after conceding first to secure a hat-trick of tournament wins.
This was India’s second win over Germany in three days and took them to the top of the table with five wins (17 points).
India (+8) is ahead of Spain (+6) on goal difference. In the first leg on Friday, India had beaten Germany 3-2.
Fresh off a thrilling 5-4 win against Australia, India conceded an early goal when Tom Grambusch gave his side a third-minute lead with a penalty corner.
But India soon came on the scene with Jugraj Singh converting a penalty corner on 21 minutes, before Abhishek took the lead moments later.
Selvam Karthi and skipper Harmanpreet Singh (26th) made sure they were up 4-2 at half time. After 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) scored the remaining goals.
Germany upped the ante after halftime and made it 4-3 with a delicious attack on the left.
A charging Kaufmann passed the ball to Miltkau, who showed excellent control and set it up for Hellwig to dive in and get the crucial touch to pass to Pawan.
Germany were relentless with their attacks, but Pawan was fit in Indian goal, frustrating their moves and helping to maintain their 4-3 lead late in the third quarter.
A minute into the fourth quarter, Tamil Nadu striker Karthi completed his brace with Jarmanpreet Singh’s through ball from the right. Tom Grambusch failed to stop the pass as Karthi seized the opportunity to make it 5-3.
Abhishek then pulled off his brace, using a powerful cross from Dilpreet Singh to complete the scoring. The German defense slowly collapsed under the pressure as India recorded one of their biggest victories over them. The biggest victory over Germany remains the 8-1 victory at the Berlin Olympics in 1936.
India will conclude this leg of Rourkela with a second leg against Australia on Wednesday.