London: India slumped to a humiliating 2-5 defeat against formidable Germany in Group B and went out of reckoning for a berth in the semifinals of the men's hockey competition at the London Games on Friday.

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Facing a must-win situation following two straight defeats in their first two games, India put up a pathetic display and allowed the Germans to dictate terms almost right through the match.

The Indians were no match for their speedy rivals and their defence was split open at will by the Germans.

Young striker Florian Fuchs (7th minute, 16th, and 36th) scored a brilliant hat-trick for the Germans, while Oliver Korn (24th) and Christopher Wesley (33rd) were the other goal-getters for the European giants.

For India, VR Raghunath (13th) and Tushar Kahndker (62nd) reduced the margin of defeat.

India are now out of the semi-final race after having tasted defeats in their first three matches. They lost to The Netherlands 2-3 and New Zealand 1-3 in their opening two fixtures.

The eight-time champions, who have returned to the Olympic fold after eight years, are lying sixth and last in Group B.

The Bharat Chetri-led team, coached by Australian Michael Nobbs, will now have to fight for minor placings.

India will now face Korea on Sunday before finishing off their group campaign against Belgium on August 7.

The Netherlands and Germany are leading the chart with three wins from as many games. Korea are placed second with three points from two games just ahead of New Zealand, who have garnered three points from three matches.

The Indian defence came under sustained pressure as the Germans broke into the scoring circle four times in as many minutes.

They were soon rewarded with their third goal in the 24th minute as Korn scooped a rebound into the net after Sreejesh blocked the first shot.

Wesley made it 4-1 for Germany one minute before half-time as he trapped a pass inside the circle and slotted the ball into the boards with three Indian defenders unable to challenge him.

Two minutes into the second half, Fuchs capitalised on a move from the right flank to make it 5-1 before Germany earned the first of their three penalty corners. The Germans, however, failed to score from any of their penalty corners.

Playing a better game upfront in the second half, Indian strikers managed to earn five penalty corners. Sandeep was on pitch to take the penalty corner on two occasions, but failed to make any impression, while German goalkeeper Weinhold used his stick to clear Raghunath's low shot in the other.

Gurwinder Singh Chandi muffed an opening created by Sunil's cross from right as he failed to control the ball in the 47th minute.

Khandker scored the second goal for India seven minutes from the final hooter as he flicked past the German goalkeeper from the right.


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