Friday, April 18, 2014

India lose 2-4 to Netherlands in 4th practice game

The Indian men’s hockey team fought valiantly before losing 2-4 to the Netherlands in their fourth practice game. The Oranje brigade started proceedings on a lively note and created a lot of pressure in the Indian ‘D’, netting the opening goal through Mirco Pruyser in the 9th minute.

The Dutch did not allow India to settle down and struck twice through Glenn Schuurman and Tristan Algera as the visitors went into the half-time break with plenty to ponder in the second half.

Undeterred by the 0-3 scorline at the break, India pulled up their socks and scored two goals in the first five minutes of the second stanza via SK Uthappa and captain Sardar Singh.

The 0-3 scoreline soon read 2-3 and India had a lot going for them at that moment. But the Netherlands not only held on to their lead but also consolidated it when Billy Baker racked up the fourth goal in the 60th minute for a 4-2 triumph.

Earlier, India went down 1-2 to Belgium in their third practice game. India leaked a first half goal when prolific Belgium striker Tom Boon put his side ahead. The Redshirts held on to the solitary-goal lead to go into the half-time break with a slender advantage.

The Terry Walsh-coached Indians tried to mount a fightback in the second stanza and drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh restored parity with twelve minutes to go for the final hooter. It was the burly fullback’s fifth goal of the Dutch tour.

India fancied their chances to go for the kill with an extra spring in their strides after the equalizer, but Tom Boon poured cold water on their hopes with another match-clinching strike.

The national team is utilizing the Dutch trip to fine-tune their preparations for the 2014 World Cup, scheduled to be held at The Hague, Netherlands from 31 May to June 15.

Earlier, the Sardar Singh-led side played out a 3-3 draw with Dutch club HGC in their second practice game. The Blueshirts had commenced their exposure tour on a whirlwind note clobbering Leiden Hockey Club 7-0.

India will now face the Dutch national side in their fifth and final practice game on April 19.

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