Press Trust of India
Raipur, Nov 30: An inconsistent India lost 1-3 to the Netherlands to slump to their second defeat in the tournament and finish at the bottom of Pool B at the Hockey World League (HWL) Finals here Monday.
Netherlands took the lead in the 36th minute through a penalty corner conversion by Mink van der Weerden before Mirco Pruijser (43rd) and Roel Bovendeert (54th) scored two field goals. India’s lone goal came from the stick of Chinglensana Singh in the 47th minute.
On the eve of the match, India’s chief coach Roelant Oltmans had said that the hosts would have to do away with their inconsistent show if they want to progress in world hockey but his words hardly had any impact on his side as they produced another lacklustre performance to slump to their second loss in the eight-nation tournament
The loss meant India finished at the bottom of Pool B with just one point from three matches and will now take on Pool A toppers in the quarterfinals, starting Wednesday.
By virtue of this win, the Netherlands also managed to avenge their 2-3 loss against India during the pool matches of Champions Trophy in Bhubaneshwar last year.
The Indians had just 36 per cent ball possession as against their rivals’ 64. The hosts managed just eight shots at the goal while Netherlands had 18 to their credit, a grim reality about India’s inconsistent showing.
India made a couple of forays into the opposition circle in the first quarter but the strikers failed to make most of the opportunities that came their way.
India had the first scoring chance in the 11th minute when Dharamvir Singh’s cross from the right found Ramandeep Singh inside the circle but the striker’s feeble push was easily padded away by the Netherlands goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann.
Three minutes into the second half, India had another opportunity but Akashdeep Singh failed to trap Manpreet Singh’s cross from the right flank.
Minutes later, Netherlands earned their first penalty corner, courtesy dangerous play by Birendra Lakra and from the resultant chance Mink van der Weerden scored with a powerful low flick to the right of Indian custodian Sreejesh.
Four minutes later, Sreejesh made a fine save to deny Seve van Ass from top of the circle. But Netherlands were not to be denied their second goal as the World No. 3 side doubled their lead in the 43rd minute through a field strike by Pruisjer.