Theirry Brinkman, Sander Baart and Mirco Pruijer’s goals helped Netherlands to defeat Indian 3-1 in a high-intensity game at the Here Hockey World League semi-final group stage clash on Tuesday in London, England.
Akashdeep Singh scored the consolation for the Indian national hockey team after Brinkman, Baart and Pruijser struck in the 2nd, 12th and 24th minute respectively. Competing for the top spot in Pool B, India and Netherlands took part in a competitive contest as both teams kept the crowd on the edge of their seats with an end-to-end game with some top-notch hockey being played.
In the opening fifteen minutes, the Dutch came out of the gate swinging and put the Indian goalkeeper Akash Chikte under immense pressure. He was unable to deny Brinkman, who scored the early goal, when a Dutch defender took the ball from Sardar to set him up. Ten minutes later, Sander Baart, on his first penalty corner try of the game, smashed the ball low on the right to double Netherland’s advantage.
Harmanpreet Singh’s penalty corner attempt was thwarted by the first runner with three minutes remaining in the first hooter as the Netherlands established a strong lead of two goals heading into the second quarter. The attacking intensity was notched up to another gear in the second quarter and this resulted two brilliant, one from each side.
Sander Baart was the catalyst on the break as he beautifully set-up Mirco Pruijser to score the third goal of the day for the Dutch in the 24th minute. Moments later, Akashdeep Singh cut the lead back down to two with a goal for Indian in the 28th minute. A precise pass from SV Sunil, which was well-taken by Akashdeep, who was able to punch on the ball in between his legs scoring one of the goals of the tournament so far.
The third quarter saw Dutch attacking further to build on the lead but the India defensive resolve kept them in the game somehow. In the final 15 minutes, India made several attempts in the opposition striking circle but could not put the ball in the back of the net despite earning their second penalty corner of the contest.
India will now play in their quarter-finals match on Thursday, 22nd June against Malaysia.