Hockey World League: Inconsistent India handed loss against Netherlands
Sardar Singh & Co finish at the bottom of Pool B after losing 1-3 to the Netherlands, their second defeat in three HWL matches
Raipur: An inconsistent India lost 1-3 to the Netherlands to slump to their second defeat in the tournament and finish at the bottom of Pool B at the Hockey World League (HWL) Final yesterday.
Indian players vie with their Dutch counterparts during their pool match yesterday. Pic/PTI
Netherlands took the lead in the 36th minute through a penalty corner conversion by Mink van der Weerden before Mirco Pruijser (43rd) and Roel Bovendeert (54th) scored two field goals. India's lone goal came from the sticks of Chinglensana Singh in the 47th minute.
On the eve of the match, India's chief coach Roelant Oltmans had said that the hosts would have to do away with their inconsistent show if they want to progress in world hockey but his words hardly had any impact on his side as they produced another lacklustre performance to slump to their second loss in the eight-nation tournament
The loss meant India finished at the bottom of Pool B with just one point from three matches and will now take on Pool A toppers in the quarter-finals, starting tomorrow. The Netherlands, meanwhile, have topped Pool B with seven points out of two wins and a draw and will play the bottom placed team of Pool A.
By virtue of this win, the Netherlands have also managed to avenge their 2-3 loss against India during the pool matches of Champions Trophy in Bhubaneshwar last year. After a disappointing tournament opener against Argentina, India produced an inspired show to hold Olympic champions Germany to a 1-1 draw and soon after the match Oltmans called his wards to play consistent hockey.
The Indians had just 36 per cent ball possession as against their rivals' 64. The hosts managed just eight shots at the goal while Netherlands had 18 to their credit, a grim reality about India's inconsistent showing. India made a couple of forays into the opposition circle in the first quarter but the strikers failed to make most of the opportunities.