Hockey: India beat Netherlands 2-1

Gurjant Singh

Amsterdam, Aug 15 : India’s hockey team overcame home side the Netherlands 2-1 here in the Robo Super Series, part of India’s tour of Europe.

Forward Gurjant Singh (fourth minute) and Mandeep Singh (51st) on Monday scored during India’s triumph. It was India’s second successive win over the Dutch.

India started the game with energy and intensity to put pressure on the home team. And the positive intent worked as the team drew first blood with a penalty corner awarded in the fourth minute. Varun Kumar’s drag-flick was padded away by the Dutch keeper but Gurjant was quick to pick up the rebound and work his reverse stick magic to put the ball high up into the net to score his first international goal for the men’s side.

India continued the strong attack as they made forays into the striking circle. Young forward Armaan Qureshi made a great attempt to take India’s lead to 2-0 with a shot on goal but it went slightly wide.

Though the Dutch tried to make amends as they won a penalty corner in the early minutes of the second quarter, the flick was brilliantly saved by India goalkeeper Akash Chikte.

With a 1-0 lead, the third quarter saw the Netherlands make desperate attempts to come back into the game but India absorbed the pressure well to execute a stronger defensive structure that kept the Dutch from scoring.

India doubled their lead six minutes into the fourth quarter as Mandeep deflected home following a penalty corner variation.

A desperate Dutch side threw everything at the Indian post and Saander de Wijn converted a penalty corner in the 58th minute to give them hope of a draw. But India held on for the 2-1 win.

“I think we played well in all departments to win against the Netherlands. They are a very experienced team with more than eight players with over 100 international caps. So, to beat them we had to come up with something special,” captain Manpreet said in a release.

“I am very happy with the way the entire team performed as one unit especially the players making their debut. They showed no sign of nervousness and played with a lot of confidence.”

India will next face Austria in Amstelveen, Netherlands on Wednesday.

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