The Indian women's hockey team lost 1-2 to Germany in a shootout after both the teams were locked at 1-1 at the end of the regulation time in the first match of the double-leg FIH Pro League at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
Early goals from Navneet Kaur (fourth minute) and Carlotta Sippel (fifth) set the tone for what was an exciting contest between world No. 9 India and world No. 5 Germany.
Both teams wasted numerous scoring chances to finish tied after the end of the regulation 60 minutes, forcing the match into shootout where the Germans did just enough to come out on top.
Navneet scored the only goal for India in the shootout as Sharmila Devi, Neha Goyal, Laremsiami and Monika wasted their chances. For Germany, Pauline Heinz and Sara Strauss found the net in the shootout, which was enough for the visitors to eke out a favourable result.
Playing their debut season in the Pro League, the Indian women's team made a fine start to their campaign, beating China 7-1 and 2-1 in their opening two games in Muscat. Then they defeated world No. 6 Spain 2-1 at home before slumping to a 3-4 defeat in the return-leg last month.
The draw after regulation time ensured India to secure one point from the match, while the Germans secured two points, including a bonus.
Despite the loss, India are placed third in the standings with 10 points from five games while the Germans are in sixth place with just two points from three matches.
Both the sides will face each other in the second match of the tie at the Kalinga Stadium on Sunday.