Manpreet Singh & Co. lose to Netherlands 1-3 in last league game at London
India's Mandeep Singh (left) is tackled by the Netherlands' Tristan Algera during their Hockey World League match yesterday. Pic/AP,PTI
The Dutch dominated the Indians, as they may have been expected to, before their last league clash against India in the Hero Hockey World League yesterday. They won the match handily 3-1, with all three goals in the first half. In some senses, it was some sort of a sparring match, where the Dutch pulled in a few more and fairly strong punches, but it was nothing that would break the morale of the Indian team.
India will take on Malaysia tomorrow while Netherlands will face China in the quarters on the same day.
As coach Roelant Oltmans conceded: "We did begin slow and allowed the goals. The real matches begin from the quarter-finals."
Thierry Brinkman (second), Sander Baart (12th) and Mirco Pruijser (24th) scored for The Netherlands, while Akashdeep Singh (28th) was the lone scorer for India. India may well have been a couple done in the first two minutes, but for Akash Chitke's good work in the goal. He took one on the helmet and neatly cleared another.
But the first goal was not long in coming, as Sardar Singh, the most experienced player on either side, erred. He was dispossessed easily and Thiery Brinkman, one of the rising stars of Dutch hockey, made no mistake for a 1-0 lead.
The Dutch earned their first penalty corner as Surender Kumar blocked. Sandar Baart converted the penalty corner perfectly to make it 2-0, pushing the ball under Chitke.
In the second quarter, Mirco Pruijser scored their third goal, drawing Chitke out and beating the defence. It was 3-0 and the floodgates could have opened if India had fallen apart. Akashdeep Singh's goal three minutes later gave India some hope.
A fine pass from SV Sunil was made good by Akashdeep who pushed the ball through the Dutch goalkeeper's legs to make it 1-3.
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