Hockey
FIH Pro League 2023-24: India go down to world No 1 Netherlands in penalties after exciting 1-1 draw

FIH Pro League 2023-24: India go down to world No 1 Netherlands in penalties after exciting 1-1 draw

In a previous match in Bhubaneswar, Harmanpreet Singh's team battled to a 2-2 draw against the Dutch before securing a bonus point in the shootout, winning 4-2.

India fell to the Netherlands 2-4 in a shootout following their return leg FIH Pro League match, which concluded in a 1-1 draw. Despite conceding a goal to Floris Middendorp in the first quarter, India fought back admirably, with vice-captain Hardik Singh equalizing in the third quarter.

However, in the shootout, India opted for Krishan Pathak, who made a crucial save but saw India falter twice, resulting in a loss in the tiebreak. Araijeet Singh Hundal and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay found the net for India, but Sukhjeet Singh and Shamsher Singh failed to convert their one-on-one opportunities. As a result, the Netherlands secured two points from the win, while India earned one point.

India play out exciting 1-1 draw in FIH Pro League:

India applied early pressure on the Dutch with several threatening circle penetrations but failed to convert them into goals. However, the Netherlands capitalized on their circle entry in the fourth minute, with Middendorp scoring his first international goal from a rebound after an initial attempt by Koen Bijen was saved by India goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak.

Despite securing their first penalty corner in the first quarter, the Netherlands couldn’t beat Pathak, who made a double save. The second quarter saw both teams engaged in a tight battle, with no goals scored.

Indian defenders displayed excellent man-to-man marking, denying the Dutch players any clear-cut chances. Although India appeared to equalize through Sukhjeet Singh in the 27th minute, the goal was disallowed due to a perceived body contact.

FIH Pro League 2023-24: Indian Hockey Team go down to world No 1 Netherlands in penalties after exciting 1-1 draw

After halftime, India intensified their attacks, earning a penalty corner which Hardik converted from a rebound. Despite both teams creating scoring opportunities in the final quarter, neither could find the decisive goal.

India maintain their fourth-place position on the league table, having accumulated 10 points from five matches. India will face Australia next before concluding their Pro League home campaign against Ireland on Sunday.

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