The result of the tie between India and Holland went on expected lines, but the way the Indians played was commendable. Despite conceding two goals in the first half, they came back and levelled the scores.
But the Dutch were quick to score an opportunistic goal when a strong drag flick from Mink van der Weerden wrapped up the tie 3-2 in favour of the European powerhouse.
"Though we have lost the tie, I am satisfied with the performance. The team has given its best and the showing in the opening game will help us perform better in the upcoming ties," said skipper Bharat Chetri.
"Holland is a very good team and coming from behind and scoring two goals has given us self-belief. But at the same time, we have to careful about not missing any opportunities in the upcoming games. Besides, I should have stopped the first goal, as it was quite an easy one. It's my mistake," he added.
Holland scored the first two goals in the 20th and 29th minute, respectively. But in the second half, Nobbs' boys showed grit and did the unexpected, scoring two quick goals. Dharamvir Singh (44th) and Shivender Singh (48th) slammed in two goals in the space of four minutes. But in the 51st minute, the Dutch converted a penalty corner to take the lead again.
India could manage only one penalty corner in the match. "This is an area we need to improve. We should have earned more penalty corners," said Chetri. "We have to seriously improve in this aspect before the next match. I hope we will fare better on this front in the other league games," he added.