Germany's Red Panthers win a thrilling shootout victory, India's men cruise over New Zealand, and Germany's men stun Belgium

Germany Red Panthers win a thrilling shootout victory, India’s men cruise over New Zealand, and Germany’s men stun Belgium

HOCKEY WORLD CUP : Red Panthers, With a comeback victory against Germany, the women’s FIH Pro League opened its fourth season with a bang. Charlotte Englebert’s goal and Elodie Picard’s save in the sixth round of the shootout in Mendoza, Argentina, gave the Red Panthers the extra point. Check out this link for the latest standings in the Women’s FIH Professional League.

The men’s team from India defeated the New Zealand Black Sticks 7-0 with goals in each quarter. Graham Reid’s team improved to 2-0 with the 7-4 triumph. In Mendoza, Germany and Belgium fought to a 3-2 German victory, which was sealed by a Tom Grambusch penalty shot. Both Germany and Belgium were playing their opening game of the new campaign. The current standings of the men’s FIH Pro League may be seen at this link.

Kalinga Hockey Stadium, Bhubaneswar; India vs. New Zealand (men) (IND)

India prevailed against New Zealand 7-4 in a high-scoring match at Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium. Six goals were scored in the opening 18 minutes of the game as the forwards of both sides worked hard to get into the offensive zone of their opponents. After Black Sticks goalkeeper George Enersen let an early goal to Indian forward Simon Child, Indian captain Harmanpreet Singh tied the game on his third penalty corner attempt.

NZL jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to goals from Sam Lane and Jake Smith. Then, it was India’s turn to mount a comeback, and they did it by scoring twice in rapid succession to bring the score to a 3-3 tie. Rookie Karthi Selvam and Harmanpreet scored twice for the Blues.

Karthi Selvam added his name to the scoreboard once again thanks to a stunning theft from the NZL defender just in front of the arc. With just seven minutes left on the clock, India had dominated possession and led 7-3. It was too late for New Zealand to prevent India from claiming their second victory of the FIH Hockey Pro League season, despite a PC conversion from skipper Nic Woods.

Hardik Singh, the game’s MVP, credited the whole squad for their victory: “Coming back from a two-goal disadvantage to win it 7-4 is something that doesn’t happen every time. During halftime, the coaches and the seniors came up with some plans and urged us to maintain more control of the ball, which got everyone fired up. We did what our instructors instructed, and the proof is before your own eyes.

After going up 2-0, captain Nic Woods felt they might have done more: “We gave up the ball quite easily and also our defenders made some errors which cost us the match.” Tomorrow, when we play Spain, we will rectify our errors and play at a higher level.

The men’s and women’s hockey teams from Belgium will take against the German national team at the Estadio Mendocino de Hockey in Mendoza (ARG)

In the first women’s match, a 3-3 tie between Belgium and Germany was decided by a shootout that the Red Panthers won 4-3. Ahead 3-1 at halftime, Belgium clawed back to level the game in the last quarter. On Belgium’s first penalty corner of the game, Emma Puvrez scored the game’s first goal. Ambre Ballenghien had an early flick stopped by goalkeeper Nathalie Kubalski, but the rebound found Puvrez all alone in the slot. Two minutes later, Germany tied the game on a penalty corner of their own, thanks to a goal by Nike Lorenz, who sent the ball low past Elena Sotgiu’s stick.

In the second quarter, Germany dominated possession and scored twice thanks to goals from Pauline Heinz and Leena Michaeel within a minute of each other. After drawing the Belgium defense away from the open areas, Heinz sank a bouncing ball after Charlotte Stapenhorst ran the baseline for her team. When Belgium turned the ball over, Heinz took advantage by working her way into the circle and setting up Micheel for a rebound and a 3-1 lead at the break.

In the 41st minute, Belgium drew within a goal when a booming, fast free hit from Barbara Nelen found the stick of a sprinting Abi Raye. In the 48th minute, Belgium tied the score on a penalty corner when Englebert scored on a rebound after his first effort was stopped. Both goalkeepers were put under pressure late in the game, but held firm, and the game ended in a shootout.

After six rounds of shootouts, Belgium won 4-3 thanks to a second-round finish by Englebert and a poke tackle by Picard on Germany’s Sara Strauss.

MVP of the Game After the game, Michelle Struijk commented, “It was an extremely tough game for us.” I believe we need to push as a unit and retain possession of the ball when we score. So, there’s a lot to work on, but I’m thrilled with the victory.

After the game, Germany’s captain Lorenz stated, “I believe it’s incredibly unfortunate that we lost.” We need to win the game at home, where we hold a 3-1 lead. To me, it’s important to identify successful strategies and implement them again.

Earlier in the third quarter, Germany and Belgium were tied at two goals each, but in the 55th minute, a penalty shot by Grambusch turned the narrative. Germany’s first victory of the fourth season of the FIH men’s Pro League comes courtesy of a 3-2 score.

It started off with two goals from Germany’s Marco Miltkau and was divided in half by a goal from penalty corner specialist Alexander Hendrickx of Belgium. Miltkau scored first after picking up a long aerial from a Belgian penalty corner and knocking in his own rebound off Vincent Vanasch’s glove. A swift counterattack by Germany paid off for Miltkau, as Niklas Wellen found Christopher Ruhr in a good scoring position. Ruhr then split the Belgian defense and fed Miltkau for the game-winning goal.

In the third period, Hendrickx scored the game-tying goal with his second penalty corner flick of the match. The Germans believed they had taken the lead again, but Arthur de Sloover’s incredible hand-eye coordination prevented a goal on a penalty corner flick by Grambusch.

Moritz Trompertz withstood a strong stick infraction in the Belgian circle by Loick Luypaert with 6:02 left in the game, earning a penalty stroke for Germany. Grambusch put it past Vanasch glove side for the club, giving his squad the advantage they would need to win. Wellen fired a shot that was deflected by Alexander Stadler’s hand and smacked against the underside of the crossbar.

MVP of the Game I believe for the first game in a couple of months (for Germany), it went extremely well,” Niklas Wellen stated after the game. We are well aware of Belgium’s strength as a squad. To me, today’s game proved that we can win against them, and that our team is headed in the correct direction.

Belgian player Felix Denayer remarked, “It was a tough game but we are incredibly thrilled to be here.” It’s nice to be here to play these games, and the organization has done a fantastic job with the setup. Our hopes of victory were understandable, but we’ll have to try again another time.

The New Zealand men meet Spain in Bhubaneswar on 5 November, while the Argentina men and women welcome the German national team to Mendoza for further FIH Pro League action.

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