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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

India colts paid the price of playing defensive hockey in the first half as they lost 2-4 against an aggressive Germany in the second semifinal of the FIH Odisha Men's Junior Hockey World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday.

Germany will meet Argentina in the Sunday final. Meanwhile, India will lock horns with France for a third place finish.

Germany started off aggressively and got their first penalty corner as early as the fifth minute of the match. But India's in-form custodian Prashant Chouhan deflected a powerful hit away from the goal post. They continued their aggressive surge and got their second penalty corner in the last minute of the first quarter. Erik Kleinlein dully converted it to open the account for Germany. India retaliated immediately to get their first penalty corner, but couldn't capitalise.

The first quarter ended 1-0 in favour of Germany. Though Indian players were brilliant in their skillful maneuvering, the Germans were dominant with their fast paced game and quick shot passes.

The Germans continued with the momentum in the second quarter and Philip Holzmueller hit it fiercely into the net in the 21st minute to double the lead. Three minutes later skipper Hannes Muller scored their third goal through a brilliant reverse flick. India came back strongly and Manjeet netted the first goal for India in the 25th minute. Immediately after a minute Germany earned a penalty stroke and Mitchel Struthoff found the target with ease. The second quarter ended 4-1 in Germany's favour.

India tried to make amends in the third quarter by switching the gear. They put the Germans under immense pressure and created many scoring opportunities. But Germany's defence rose to the occasion and the third quarter ended goalless.

Germany got another penalty corner in the 52nd minute, but only to find the bar. India Colts tried their best to decrease the number of goals in the final quarter. Dhami Boby Singh scored the second goal for the team in the last minute only to reduce the margin.

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