FIH Hockey PL: India goes down 1-4 to hosts Netherlands

EINDHOVEN: In this FIH Hockey Pro League match, a profligate India let a one-goal lead slip away and lost 1-4 to the hosts Netherlands. India's lone goal came from captain Harmanpreet Singh in the 11th minute despite receiving five penalty corners and a penalty shot. On Wednesday night, Pepijn Reyenga (17'), Boris Burkhardt (40'), and Duco Telgenkamp (41', 58') all scored goals for the home squad.

Riding on back-toback wins in London last weekend, India got off the blocks in Eindhoven establishing an early 1-0 lead in the first quarter. Though India 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 Netherlands’ D.

India were awarded a penalty corner after a foot foul by the Netherlands defender in the 11th minute, a deliberate foul in PC defence saw them being awarded a penalty stroke. The in-form Harmanpreet broke no sweat in converting the stroke, fetching India an early lead and also took his individual score to an impressive 17 goals this season. Backed by a boisterous home crowd, the young Netherlands team bounced back in the 2nd quarter with a fine equaliser through Pepijn Reyenga. He was skillful in his effort to pick up an aerial ball, and controlled it well enough to put it past the Indian defence in the 17th minute. The equaliser put India on the backfoot, with the hosts enjoying most of the ball 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. Only seconds before the hooter, the Netherlands found an opportunity to take the lead when they won a PC from a strong counterattack. But a goal was averted by India’s brave first rusher Amit Rohidas.

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