Hosts Netherlands drub India in hockey Pro League match

Jun 08, 2023 02:49 PM IST

Skipper Harmanpreet Singh, who now has 17 goals in this Pro League season, is the lone scorer for India in their 1-4 loss against a young Dutch side

Hosts Netherlands defeated the Indian men's hockey team 4-1 in the FIH Pro League in Eindhoven on Wednesday night. While skipper Harmanpreet Singh (11th) scored India's lone goal, Pepijn Reyenga (17th), Boris Burkhardt (40th) and Duco Telgenkamp (41st, 58th) scored in the home team's victory.

Indian players celebrate
Indian players celebrate

Riding on a good outing in London last weekend, India got off the blocks with an early 1-0 lead in the first quarter. Though the visitors took some time to shake off the nerves and settle into the game, they showed a good structure that helped them earn opportunities inside the Dutch striking circle. They were awarded a penalty corner (PC) but a deliberate foul in PC defence saw India being awarded a penalty stroke. In-form Harmanpreet broke no sweat in converting it, taking his individual tally to an impressive 17 goals this Pro League season.

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Backed by a boisterous home crowd, the young Netherlands team bounced back in the second quarter with a fine equaliser through Reyenga. He was skillful in his effort to pick up an aerial ball and controlled it well to put it past the Indian defence. The equaliser put India on the backfoot with the hosts enjoying most of the possession. It took India a few minutes to regain their rhythm and foray into the circle with a well-worked attack down the right flank but the hosts defended well to keep the scoreline even.

Starting the third quarter in a 1-1 stalemate, the match promised to keep the audience glued to their seats. Bringing cheer to Oranje fans, hosts dominated this quarter with improved ball possession backed by an aggressive attack. The deadlock was finally lifted when the Netherlands managed a PC. Burkhardt picked up a good injection to put it past Krishan Bahadur Pathak. Seconds later, Telgenkamp extended the lead to 3-1 with a well-timed field goal.

It didn't help that India were down to 10 men with Mandeep Singh being awarded a green card seconds before the Netherlands scored back-to-back goals. Under pressure to score, India began the final quarter with a couple of PCs coming their way but unfortunately could not make much of it.

While a late surge for India looked bleak with the Netherlands defence being relentless, India conceded a goal when Telgenkamp scored his second of the match. With less than 30 seconds left for the hooter, India earned a stroke after a stick tackle foul but Netherlands' goalie Pirmin Blaak made a brilliant save off Harmanpreet's flick, ending the match at 4-1.

India will next take on Argentina on June 8.

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    From badminton to cricket, Sandip Sikdar writes on many sporting disciplines. He has the experience of working in digital, news agency as well as print organisations. Motorsport remains his first love.

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