India top group despite losing 2-3 to Germany

Hockey

India finished on top of their pool despite losing 2-3 to Olympic champions Germany in their last preliminary league match of the Champions Trophy hockey tournament today.

India squandered the lead twice to handover the match to the Germans, but still managed to top Pool A on a superior goal difference.

Both India and Germany finished with six points each, but India's two previous victories with two-goal margins ensured them the top spot. India finished with a goal difference of plus-three (+3), while the German's goal difference was minus-one (-1).

The top-spot finish has set up India's quarterfinal date against Belgium, who finished at the bottom of Pool B with three successive losses, including today's narrow 4-5 defeat at the hands of Olympic silver medallists Netherlands.

Germany will take on Asian Games champions Pakistan, who were beaten 0-1 by defending champions and hosts Australia in the last preliminary league fixture.

Australia needed to post a two-goal win over Pakistan to finish on top in their group ahead of Netherlands but just managed to score once through Kieren Govers.

Both Netherlands and Australia finished with seven points from three games, but the Dutch side took the top position in Pool B on the basis of a one-goal advantage over the hosts.

The Dutch will now face Pool A's bottom place finisher New Zealand in the quarters, while Australia meet England.

England finished third with four points after being held to a 1-1 draw by New Zealand for whom this was their only point in three outings.

Against Germany, India drew first blood in the sixth minute when Gurwinder Singh Chandi picked up a through ball from Rupinder Pal Singh on top of the 'D' and sent a rasping shot into the net past German custodian Nicolas Jacobi.

Germany equalised in the 14th minute through Oliver Korn, who capitalised on the shaky Indian defence on his secondattempt after the first shy had rebounded off the right post.

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