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FIH Pro League: India lose 2-3 to the Netherlands, retain top spot on the points table

 The Indian men’s hockey team put up a very spirited performance against World No.1 the Netherlands but lost 2-3 here in the ongoing FIH Hockey Pro League 2022-23 on Saturday.

Goals for The Netherlands came from Duco Telgenkamp (7′), Boris Burkhardt (41′) and Tjep Hoedemakers (43′), while Sanjay (18′) and Gurjant Singh (46′) scored for the Indians.

The Indian men’s hockey team started off the contest with more the possession, looking to attack the Dutch in the early stages. The Netherlands had to dig deep to keep India from scoring even though Amit Rohidas almost converted a Penalty Corner.

Soon after, the Dutch started to get their act going, and it was Duco Telgenkamp (7′) who broke the deadlock when he poked it past PR Sreejesh at the far post. The Netherlands continued to attack after that, but PR Sreejesh made a couple of brilliant saves in the final minutes of the first quarter as the Indian Men’s Hockey Team went into the first break, trailing 0-1.

The Indian men’s hockey team responded with an equaliser early in the second quarter when Sanjay (18′) found the back of the net from close range. Moments later, both Abhishek and Mandeep Singh had a crack at goal, but the Dutch held on. Both sides continued to look for the next goal, and that produced some free-flowing hockey in the second half of the quarter, however, neither could break the deadlock and the teams went into the break with the scores locked at 1-1.

In the third quarter, the Indian men’s hockey team kept up the intensity and looked for a goal in the early stages, but the Dutch managed to keep them out. The Dutch weathered the storm well and started to push India back a bit.

With four minutes to go in the quarter, the Dutch stitched together a quick move from the right which saw Boris Burkhardt (41′) scoring past PR Sreejesh to make it 2-1. A couple of minutes later, the Dutch won a series of Penalty Corners, converting the third one as Tjep Hoedemakers (43′) made his way onto the scoresheet. At the break, Netherlands led India 3-1.

The Indian men’s hockey team started the final quarter with a bang, as Lalit played in Gurjant Singh (46′), who smashed it home to make it 3-2 before the first minute had ended. The Indian Men’s Hockey Team were eyeing an equaliser and had the numerical advantage for a while. Mandeep and Co gave it their all in the next phase of play, but the Dutch held on. The Indian men’s hockey team threw the kitchen sink at the Dutch in the final five minutes but could not find the equaliser. The Dutch hung on and walked away winners, with the scoreline at 3-2 against the Indian Men’s Hockey Team.

Up next for the Indian Men’s Hockey Team will be the game against Argentina on Sunday.

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