Millennium Post

Determined India beat Netherlands for the first time in 18 years

Determined India beat Netherlands for the first time in 18 years
The win not only broke India’s two match losing streak, but also helped the Sardar Singh and Co
break their 18 year jinx against the mighty Dutch. India last defeated the Netherlands way back in 1996 in an Olympic qualifying tournament in Barcelona. It was also India’s first win over the Netherlands in the Champions Trophy after 1986.

Courtesy on Tuesday’s result, India finished third in Pool B and will take on Belgium in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Despite the loss, the Netherlands topped the pool and will take on Pakistan in the last-eight round. In other quarterfinal encounters, Pool A toppers England will face Olympic champions Germany, who surprisingly finished at the bottom of Pool B, while Argentina will face Australia.

For India S V Sunil (33rd), Manpreet Singh (47th) and Rupinder Pal Singh (49th) were the goal-scorers, while the Netherlands’ both goals were scored by Mink van der Weeden (36th, 58th).

Unlike their first two matches, the Indians looked far more coordinated and motivated. It was keenly-contested first two quarters for both teams. Both India and the Netherlands created chances but what eluded them were goals. India’s first scoring chance came in the 10th minute when Akashdeep Singh’s feeble deflection from S K Utahappa’s build-up was easily kept away by Dutch goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak.

After two goalless but action-packed quarters, it took a gem of a goal from India to break the deadlock, courtesy Sunil. Sunil got a great deflection from Gurjinder Singh’s long ball to give India the lead. The Netherlands, however, went for the referral which went against them. India’s lead was short-lived as the Netherlands equalised two minutes later from second of the successive penalty corners through Van der Weeden which Indian custodian Harjot Singh, who replaced Sreejesh, had no answer.

But persistent attacks finally resulted in their second goal in the 47th minute. Danish Mujtaba first forced a double save from Pirmin and from the resultant rebound Manpreet scored with a slap shot before Rupinder converted a penalty corner two minutes later to sent the crowd into frenzy. Two minutes from the final hooter, Van der Weeden converted another penalty corner for the Netherlands to bring the game alive. But the Indian defence stood tall in the final minutes to keep their lead intact.
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