The Indian men’s hockey team finished off their South Africa tour with a 1-5 loss against world No 1 Netherlands in Cape Town on Sunday. While Abhishek (39') scored the lone goal for India in the match, Jip Janssen (10', 28'), Duco Telgenkamp (16'), Tjep Hoedemakers (21'), and Koen Bijen (35') were on target for the Dutch side.
The match began with Netherlands taking an early advantage as Janssen found the back of the net in the 10th minute to give his side the lead. Despite repeated attacks, India were unable to cover the deficit by the end of the first quarter.
At the start of the second quarter, Telgenkamp doubled his side's lead before Hoedemakers got on the scoresheet. Janssen secured his brace soon after as the Dutch side went into halftime with a 4-0 lead.
India began searching for early goals in the second half, but were pegged further back as Bijen managed to get another goal for the Netherlands. Abhishek finally managed to get a goal back for India as the third quarter finished with India trailing 1-5.
India showcased urgency in the final 15 minutes but the Netherlands defence continued to thwart away any signs of attacks. India, too, remained firm in their defence in the last quarter, not allowing any more goals on their end.
Sunday’s loss was India’s first at the tour of South Africa. Craig Fulton’s team had beaten France in their first game before playing out a draw in their second match against the same opponents. They then followed it up with a win over the hosts before losing to the Dutch on Sunday.