Wrapping it up

Super-exciting match of hockey from start to finish. Edge of the seat stuff. Yes, India have booked their ticket to the final. But they were under immense pressure from start to finish. And, they were far from clinical. They might have to increase the level of play tomorrow when they take on the defending champions Australia. But what a start for Harendra Singh – first tournament as coach and his boys have assured themselves a medal at Breda. Big day for them tomorrow.

This is how things stand after the 1-1 draw in the last group game. The final will be a repeat of the last edition, in which Australia won.

IT’S ALL OVER! India scramble to the final, somehow. The last quarter was perhaps the most manic one so far in the tournament. India were leading 1-0 in the 47th minute. Brinkman, despite a difficult angle, got the equaliser. Then Hertzberger beat Sreejesh between his legs and into the net. But the goal was disallowed because of a free-kick not taken properly by the hosts before the goal was scored. This decision was the decisive point of the final quarter, perhaps of the match. Tough one for the hosts.

GOA... NO. Confusion here at Breda. The Netherlands were celebrating after Hertzberger put the ball into the net but the TV umpire recommends to disallow the goal because of a free-hit not taken properly. Disappointment for the Dutch. Indians heave a sigh of relief.

GOAL! Netherlands make another superb attack. Amit Rohidas misses a ball. Netherlands capitalise. Brinkman gets to the ball with a 40-degree angle to shoot at and Sreejesh coming down to block the strike. But Brinkman cleverly chips the ball. It deflects from Rohidas’s stick and goes over Sreejesh and into the goal. The hosts, however, need one more to get to the final.

Final quarter, India 1-0 Netherlands (7 minutes to go): A swarm of blue and orange shirts in the Indian circle. But Indians have defended better in the second half. Sreejesh hasn’t had a lot of work to do.

Final quarter, India 1-0 Netherlands (10 minutes to go): 25 circle entries to Netherlands to India’s 8 so far. They have not been able to breach Sreejesh though. They need to score twice in less than 10 minutes now to head to the final. India playing a lot more freely now.

GOAL! Mandeep Singh it is for the men in blue to take the lead. India get a Penalty Corner. Sardar injected, Harmanpreet’s strike (after Manpreet’s trap) deflected off a Dutchman’s stick and rebounded off keeper van der Ven. Mandeep was waiting there to pounce on. And he gets it in easily. Incredibly tough for Netherlands to bounce back now.

End of Third quarter, India 0-0 Netherlands: Alright then, we are headed to the last 15 minutes of this match with both teams looking for a goal. Netherlands will be under more pressure as they need a win to go to the final. What would India do though? They just need a draw. Will Harendra ask his men to look to not concede or be aggressive?

Third quarter, India 0-0 Netherlands (3 minutes to go): Too tight by both sides so far. Too much pressure building up. Looks like this match will go down to the wire. Both teams, especially India, have defended well. But India haven’t made as many circle penetrations as they would have liked to.

Third quarter, India 0-0 Netherlands (6 minutes to go): Netherlands build the pressure. India defend. They quickly get the ball to the other end. Then Netherlands block End to end hockey. Still no goals so far though.

Third quarter, India 0-0 Netherlands (10 minutes to go): India make a circle entry for the first time this quarter. Mandeep Singh has the ball. But he’s crowded the Dutch defence. No chance to score there.

Third quarter, India 0-0 Netherlands (13 minutes to go): Netherlands into the Indian circle again. They near the Indian goalmouth. Sreejesh moves forward, dives, rolls, does something but keep the ball away. Immovable he is. Netherlands are still seeking their first goal.

Half-time stats

End of first half, India 0-0 Netherlands: The hosts had to come out attacking from the word go. And, that’s what they did. They have put pressure on the men in blue. India failed to capitalise on the penalty corners they got in the first quarter. But Netherlands have held possession ever since. And, came close to scoring at least on four occasions, including the two Penalty Corners. But Sreejesh has denied them with some brilliant goalkeeping.

Second quarter, India 0-0 Netherlands (2 minutes to go): Superb save again by Sreejesh. Netherlands play a 1-2, thwart two defenders and van Dam has just the Indian goalie to beat. But Sreejesh is a mountain that one can’t get past. He saves it, taking the ball on his helmet.

Second quarter, India 0-0 Netherlands (3 minutes to go): Netherlands get their third penalty corner in three minutes. But Sreejesh saves it again for India. Netherlands have the momentum.

Second quarter, India 0-0 Netherlands (6 minutes to go): Back-to-back Penalty Corner for Netherlands. One is blocked by the Indian defence. The second one, Sreejesh saves it easily (or he makes it seem easy at lease). Netherlands have been relentless though.

Second quarter, India 0-0 Netherlands (7 minutes to go): India make a quick counter-attack with Mandeep and young Dilpreet contending with four defenders. Mandeep makes a last-minute pass to Dilpreet, with a defender close to him. Dilpreet tries to swivel and deceive the defender. But he hardly has any time and no angle to work with. He shoots wide.

Second quarter, India 0-0 Netherlands (9 minutes to go): Simranjeet makes an inspiring run almost from the half-line, gets to the corner of the Netherlands attacking circle and strikes. But the ball goes wide. The deadlock remains at Breda.

Second quarter, India 0-0 Netherlands (12 minutes to go): Sardar Singh tries to cross the Netherlands midfield to feed the ball to the Indian attack. But he’s blocked by three Netherlands midfielders and the ball is taken away from him.

End of first quarter, India 0-0 Netherlands: Netherlands seemed to have the edge in that quarter. They were more aggressive. And they have to be for, it’s a must-win game for them. India made a few inroads, even got two Penalty Corners but they have failed to convert those.

First quarter, India 0-0 Netherlands (2 minutes to go): Second Penalty Corner for India. Good attempt. Sardar injects the ball to Harmanpreet, who instead of hitting it, takes the ball away by a feet and passes it to Manpreet, perhaps trying to take Netherlands by surprise. But the defenders are not outwitted. They block it.

First quarter, India 0-0 Netherlands (6 minutes to go): The game’s so far has mostly been played in the Indian half. The hosts have made inroads but haven’t capitalised on their circle penetrations.

First quarter, India 0-0 Netherlands (8 minutes to go): Netherlands are on the attack. They are linking really well here. Twice they have come close to scoring in this game. India, as usual, are taking time to settle in to this game. They have missed the penalty corner that came their way as well.

First quarter, India 0-0 Netherlands (11 minutes to go): Early Penalty Corner for India. But they fail to take an early lead in this match. Netherlands counterattack and get alarmingly close. But can’t get past Sreejesh. It’s still 0-0 at Breda.

National anthems over. Both teams are ready to go. It’s a do-or-die match for Netherlands.

India vs Netherlands head-to-head in Champions Trophy


07:00 pm: Welcome all to the live coverage of India’s final group game against host Netherlands. The men in blue began brilliantly with victories over arch-rivals Pakistan and Olympic gold medallists Argentina. But lost the next match to defending champions Australia. In their previous match against Belgium, they eked out a 1-1 draw, thanks mainly to goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who was brilliant. Eventhough they require just a draw today to be in the final, coach Harendra Singh would want his boys to get back to winning ways before taking on Australia in the title clash of the last edition of the Champions Trophy.