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India suffer second loss
December 05, 2004 17:44 IST
India raised their game in the second match but suffered a 4-5 defeat against the Netherlands in their second match of the Champions Trophy hockey tournament at the National Stadium in Lahore on Sunday.
India showed a remarkable improvement in their game following the morale shattering loss to Spain yesterday, but their effort was not enough to get them past the defending champions.
India's approach was positive in the game. They even almost pulled themselves out of the rut by coming close to equal the margin twice in the last few minutes of the match when Holland was leading 3-5.
They also hardly missed scoring opportunities that captain Dilip Tirkey had said as "an old disease" after the 0-4 drubbing against Spain.
The Dutch started the match in an attacking mode and immediately put a lot of pressure on their opposition with some fine moves from both the flanks but it was India who took the lead in the 5th minute.
The goal scored by Sandeep Michael gave India the much needed boost, but their joy was short-lived as the Europeans bounced back in style slamming home five minutes later through Greet Jan Derikx.
Derixk scored off a rebound after Taeke Taekema's shot, from the team's second penalty corner, hit the bar and came on to play.
Then there was no looking back for Holland who intensified the pressure with some perfect long balls and swift movements and the Indians conceded as many as 10 penalty corners in the match.
India was lucky not to concede a goal when umpire Daniel Santi disallowed a Dutch strike on the ground that the ball had gone out of the backline before Teun de Nooijer hit it in.
But soon after Holland made amends when Taekema scored from a penalty corner in the 16th minute to give his side 2-1 lead.
Although V S Vinay made the score 2-2 four minutes later, Holland pumped in two more goals -- Nooijer off a rebound from penalty corner in the 25th minute and Karel Claver just a minute before half-time -- to ensure that they go to the half time in a commanding position. At that stage India looked almost out of the match but that was not to be as the side regrouped themselves well to stage a comeback in the second half.
Appearing charged up after the break, India forced their way into the Holland circle with some purposeful moves and earned a penalty stroke 10 minutes into the half. Arjun Halappa converted the goal to set the stage for an exciting finish.
Holland went on the defensive as India grew in confidence and carried out some very good moves particularly from the right flank with some short but accurate passes in a bid to level the score.
But the Holland defence, the Achilles' heal for the holders, held ground to deny anything to the Indians.
With the Indians threatening to level the score, Holland put in another goal through Nooijer (59th) to rattle the Indians who, though reduced the margin again in the 61st minute through a brilliant Vikram Pillay goal, failed to force any point from the match.
India would take on Germany on Tuesday after a rest day on Monday while Holland play hosts Pakistan.