India suffer 2-3 defeat to Netherlands in men’s FIH Pro League

Eindhoven (Netherlands): The Indian men’s hockey team lost 2-3 to Netherlands in their FIH Pro League match here on Saturday.

Duco Telgenkamp (6th minute), Boris Burkhardt (40th) and Tjep Hoedemakers (42nd) scored for the Dutch side while Sanjay (17th) and Gurjant Singh (45th) struck for India.

India lost 1-4 to the same opponents here on Wednesday but had come into Saturday’s match after a convincing 3-0 win over Argentina.

India, though, are on top of the standings with 27 points from 15 matches.

India started off the match with more possession, looking to attack the Dutch in the early stages. The Netherlands had to dig deep to keep India from scoring even though Amit Rohidas almost converted a penalty corner.

But, it was Duco Telgenkamp who broke the deadlock when he poked it past PR Sreejesh at the far post. The Netherlands continued to attack after that, but Sreejesh made a couple of brilliant saves in the final minutes of the first quarter as India trailed 0-1 going into the first break.

India responded with an equaliser early in the second quarter when Sanjay found the back of the net from close range. Moments later, both Abhishek and Mandeep Singh had a crack at the opposition goal, but the Dutch held on.

Both sides continued to look for the next goal, and that produced some free-flowing hockey in the second half of the quarter. However, neither side could break the deadlock and the teams went into the break with the scores locked at 1-1.

In the third quarter, the Dutch weathered the storm from India well and then started to push the visitors back.

With four minutes left in the quarter, the Dutch stitched together a quick move from the right which saw Boris Burkhardt scoring past Sreejesh to make it 2-1.

A couple of minutes later, the Dutch won a series of penalty corners and converted the third one as Tjep Hoedemakers made his way onto the scoresheet.

At the break, Netherlands led India 3-1.

In the final quarter, Lalit played Gurjant Singh, who smashed the ball home to make it 3-2 before the first minute had ended.

India were eyeing for an equaliser, and had the numerical advantage for a while. Mandeep and Co. gave it their all in the next phase of play, but the Dutch held on.