The Indian males’s hockey crew produced a lion hearted efficiency earlier than taking place 1-4 to leaders the Netherlands within the shoot-out after each the perimeters had been locked 2-2 at regulation time to just about crash out of the title race of the FIH Professional League on Saturday. India are nonetheless positioned third with 30 factors from 15 video games with only one match remaining. The Netherlands are main the desk with 33 factors from 13 video games with three matches in hand, whereas Olympic champions Belgium are positioned second with 31 factors from 14 video games with two matches remaining.
Breathtaking hockey was on show between two world-class groups as each India and the Netherlands fought one another in each division of the sport in the whole 60 minutes.
Whereas the Indians had the higher share of ball possession, not less than within the first two quarters, and went for the offensive from the onset, the Dutchmen relied extra on counter-attacks to create goal-scoring alternatives.
There was additionally a battle of supremacy between two finest goalkeepers of the world in PR Sreejesh and Pirmin Blaak.
Each Sreejesh and Blaak produced sensible saves on quite a few events within the first two quarters to maintain their facet afloat.
However it was the Netherlands who took the lead within the tenth minute when Derck de Vilder created the chance with some sensible stickwork in the correct flank to put it for Tijmen Reyenga, who dribbled previous two Indian defenders earlier than slotting residence previous Sreejesh.
The Indians pressed the Dutch defence arduous from the phrase go and secured two back-to-back penalty corners within the tenth minute however the residence crew’s defence was alert to thwart the risks.
Then, Abhishek had two sensible possibilities handy India the lead however on each events, Blaak got here to Netherlands’ rescue with breathtaking saves.
India secured one other penalty nook minutes later however wasted the chance.
If Blaak was sensible, veteran Sreejesh was to not be left behind as he denied the Netherlands from scoring.
India drew parity within the twenty second minute by way of one other sensible subject purpose by Dilpreet Singh from prime of the circle. He used the tempo of the cross from Varun Kumar to place the ball previous Blaak within the backside left nook.
The Netherlands earned their first penalty nook within the sixteenth minute which the Indians defended effectively.
After the change of ends, the Netherlands secured two extra penalty corners however didn’t get previous the Indian defence. India too secured a penalty nook within the third quarter however wasted the chance.
The fourth and closing quarters had been no completely different as each the perimeters matched one another stick for follow get an edge over the opposite.
It was the Netherlands who lastly managed to get the higher hand by way of Koen Bijen’s subject strike within the forty seventh minute.
There was hardly something to distinguish between the world no.3 Netherlands and world no. 4 India.
Netherlands secured two extra penalty corners with little greater than two minutes remaining within the sport however wasted each.
With 23 seconds left from the ultimate hooter, India earned three consecutive penalty corners, the final of which was transformed by Harmanpreet Singh to degree the scores at 2-2 and take the match to shoot-out.
However within the shoot-out, the Indians minimize a sorry determine as Netherlands scored from 4 of the 5 possibilities, whereas solely Vivek Sagar Prasad discovered the web for the guests.
India and the Netherlands play once more in opposition to one another within the second match of the double-leg tie on Sunday.
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