FIH Pro League hockey: Top-ranked Dutch outplay India in shootout

India had earlier defeated the Netherlands 4-2 in Bhubaneswar

India vs netherlands India was beaten by the Dutch in shootout | Twitter

India lost 2-4 against the Netherlands in shootout after their return leg FIH Pro League match ended in a 1-1 draw here on Wednesday.

In their first leg match in Bhubaneswar, India had defeated the Netherlands 4-2 in shootout after a 2-2 stalemate in regulation time.

World no.1 Netherlands broke the deadlock through Floris Middendorp (4th minute) before vice-captain Hardik Singh (38th) equalised for India, who are ranked fourth.

In the shootout, Araijeet Singh Hundal and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay scored for India, while Sukhjeet Singh and Shamsher Singh missed from the one-on-one situation.

The win gave Netherlands two points, while India pocketed one point.

India applied early pressure on the Dutch with some threatening circle penetrations but failed to yield any positive results.

The Netherlands, in turn, took the lead from their first circle entry in the fourth minute through Middendorp, who scored his first international career goal.

Middendorp scored from a rebound after India goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak saved Koen Bijen's initial try from an acute angle.

A minute from the first quarter, the Netherlands secured their first penalty corner but failed to get past an agile Pathak, who made a double save.

The second quarter was a neck-and-neck fight between the two teams but their efforts didn't translate into goals.

It was a fine display of man-to-man marking from the Indian defenders as they didn't allow the Dutch players any space to create clear-cut chances.

In the 27th minute India equalised through Sukhjeet Singh but the goal was disallowed as the on-field umpire felt it hit the striker's body. The hosts went for video referral but the decision was not in their favour.

It was a display of end-to-end, fast-paced hockey from both the teams after the change of ends.

The Indians pressed hard and secured their first penalty corner three minutes into the third quarter but skipper Harmanpreet Singh failed to beat the Dutch first rusher.

Eight minutes after half time, India earned another penalty corner and this time Hardik scored from a rebound after Jugraj Singh's flick was kept out by the Dutch defence.

The final quarter was a hard-fourth battle between the two sides as they penetrated each other's circles a number of times but the final touch eluded them.

The Netherlands then secured a penalty corner but India's first rusher Manpreet Singh's brave defending denied the Dutch.

India will play Australia on Saturday before rounding off their Pro league home campaign against Ireland on Sunday.

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