Hockey: Germany stunned as Mishra's strike puts India in final

Click to follow
The Independent Online
India scored a golden goal through Rajiv Mishra in the fifth minute of extra time to beat Germany 4-3 and become the first team to reach the final of the World Junior Cup at Milton Keynes yesterday. This is the first time in the tournament's history that Germany have failed to reach the final.

The first half highlighted the contrasting styles of the sides - the Germans hard hitting, long passing and direct; India close passing at high speed. The Germans took advantage of a rare mistake by the Indian captain, Baljit Singh Saini, in the sixth minute when he missed a cross from Thomas Draguhn, giving Dirk Bruse a simple goal.

The Germans to control the game for long periods, missed two penalty corner chances to extend their lead, but struck again just when the Indians were getting back into the game through good running by Baljit Singh Chandi and Harbajan Singh. At Germany's third penalty corner of the half, the ball was slipped to Sascha Reinelt, who scooped home a powerful drag shot.

Two more German penalty corners were wasted early in the second half, but this time the Indians hit back, Baljit Singh Chandi delighting the huge Indian following by prodding the ball home after a great run down the left wing by Harbajan. Four minutes later, with the crowd buzzing, Harbajan burst through the middle and lobbed the German goalkeeper for a brilliant equaliser.

Germany celebrated their return to full strength after Jamilon Mulders' temporary suspension by taking the lead through Max Klink at a penalty corner. With just a minute remaining and the Germans again reduced to 10, this time Tobias Hentschel incurring the umpires wrath, Harbajan again equalised. Then came India's golden moment from the tournament's top scorer, Mishra.

Earlier, Pakistan crushed the Netherlands in the battle for the 5th to 8th places, and in the other morning game, Argentina beat Spain 3-0.

The World Hockey Federation announced yesterday that England, and Milton Keynes, will stage the 2000 Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which will probably be held in the second half of 1999.

DRAW FOR 1998 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP (Utrecht, Neth): Pool A: Australia, China, Germany, Scotland, South Africa, United States. Pool B: Argentina, England, India, South Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand.