A resurgent Netherlands handed out a 3-1 defeat to India as Manpreet Singh’s men slipped to a loss in their final pool match in London at the Hockey World League Semi-Final in London.
Netherlands came out all guns blazing in the first quarter with Thierry Brinkman putting them in the lead in only the second minute and Sander Baart doubling the advantage in the 12th minute. They were cruising and it took a couple of spectacular saves from Akash Chikte to keep India in the match.
Mirco Pruijser tripled Netherlands’ advantage in the 24th minute but India finally looked to have woken up four minutes later, thanks to an audacious piece of skill from Akashdeep Singh. The 22-year-old scored a superb running goal, between his legs to pull one back for India at half-time.
A scrappy third quarter saw India slowing up the game and coming up with some chances but the Netherlands held firm. Their goalkeeper, Pirmin Blaak, epitomised that resolve as he made two fantastic saves in the fourth quarter to keep his team ahead. India were also not helped by the fact that they could not convert any of their penalty corners, as they slipped to a 1-3 loss. The defeat means they finish second in their pool at the group stage.