India men’s hockey team edge out Netherlands 4-3
India men’s hockey team claimed first victory of their European tour with a 4-3 win over Netherlands. India lost their first two matches to Belgium in Boom.other sports Updated: Aug 13, 2017 23:48 IST
The Indian men’s hockey team beat the Netherlands 4-3 in Waalwijk on Sunday to earn their first victory in the tour of Europe. A brace by Manpreet Singh (30th and 44th minutes), Varun Kumar’s 17th minute goal and Harjeet Singh’s 49th minute strike helped India beat the Dutch.
India made a strong start with forward Ramandeep Singh finding an early chance to score, his attempt went slightly wide. Soon after, the home team drew first blood when they won a penalty corner in the fifth minute. The drag flick, however, found the foot of skipper Manpreet Singh resulting in a retake which subsequently went into a penalty stroke. Mink van der Weerden broke no sweat in putting the ball past India goalkeeper Akash Chikte to give the Dutch a 1-0 lead.
India got over the early jitters with a strong display, largely controlling the midfield led by Manpreet who showcased top quality skill and stick work. The attacking approach helped with India finding a penalty corner in the 17th minute. Junior World Cup hero Varun Kumar successfully beat the Dutch goalkeeper to pull level. Though the Netherlands earned a penalty corner soon after, the effort was parried by the India goalkeeper.
India pushed the World no.4 team further when Manpreet brilliantly deflected Armaan Qureshi’s cross pass in the 30th minute to give India a 2-1 lead. India controlled the first half with better ball possession and opportunities created in the striking circle.
The contest intensified in the third quarter with Manpreet taking a brilliant shot on goal but the Dutch keeper came up with a class act to pad it away. The following minutes saw the Dutch being awarded back-to-back penalty corners but comeback man Amit Rohidas was effective as first runner to deny Dutch successful conversion. India then set up a thrilling counter attack to put the Dutch under pressure but their goalkeeper made a good save again.
The third quarter ended with Manpreet scoring another goal in the 44th minute to give India a 3-1 lead and take charge of the game. Bob de Voogd scored two goals for the Dutch but India had it all under control, sealing the match 4-3.
This was India’s first victory on their tour of Europe after losing to Belgium in the first two games in Boom. They will go against Netherlands again on Monday in Amstelveen before concluding the tour against Austria on Wednesday.