The Indian males’s hockey workforce produced a lion hearted efficiency earlier than happening 1-4 to leaders the Netherlands within the shoot-out after each the edges had been locked 2-2 at regulation time to nearly 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 all the 60 minutes.
Whereas the Indians had the higher share of ball possession, no 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 good 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 good stickwork in the correct flank to put it for Tijmen Reyenga, who dribbled previous two Indian defenders earlier than slotting house previous Sreejesh.
The Indians pressed the Dutch defence exhausting from the phrase go and secured two back-to-back penalty corners within the tenth minute however the house workforce’s defence was alert to thwart the hazards.
Then, Abhishek had two good possibilities at hand 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 good, veteran Sreejesh was to not be left behind as he denied the Netherlands from scoring.
India drew parity within the twenty second minute by means of one other good discipline aim by Dilpreet Singh from prime of the circle. He used the tempo of the go 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 nicely.
After the change of ends, the Netherlands secured two extra penalty corners however did not 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 totally different as each the edges matched one another stick for stick with get an edge over the opposite.
It was the Netherlands who lastly managed to get the higher hand by means of Koen Bijen’s discipline 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 recreation 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 lower 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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