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Six-time champions Germany started their title defence on a shaky note by eking out a close 2-1 win over Spain in a Pool C match of the 11th Junior Hockey World Cup on the opening day of the tournament at the Major Dhyan Chand Astroturf Stadium.
Germany opened the scoring in the 25th minute of the match through Anton Boeckel’s field strike to go into half time with a one-goal cushion.
But Spain forged their way back after the break and levelled the scores when Manual Bordas Fabregas found the net with a field effort in the 48th minute.
The Germans, though, had the last laugh scoring the winner seven minutes from regulation time through a penalty corner conversion by Timm Herzbruch (63rd minute).
Even though the Germans managed to gather three points from the encounter, the show was far from convincing from the Valentin Altenburg-coached side who are regarded as one of the front-runners for the title.
In the opening match of the tournament earlier in the day, New Zealand scrapped past lowly Japan 1-0 in Pool C.
New Zealand’s Sam Lane scored the lone goal of the match in the 41st minute through a field strike.
The two winning sides of Pool C, Germany and New Zealand will face each other in their next pool match on Friday.