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India lose 1-2 to Netherlands
February 07, 2004 21:05 IST
Last Updated: February 07, 2004 22:00 IST
India paid the price for some poor finishing as they went down 1-2 against Olympic champions Netherlands in the second Test of the Naval Tata Memorial Hockey series at Hyderabad on Saturday.
The hosts, who fielded five new faces in the tie, failed to make the most from the chances that came their way to ruin a superb performance by their midfield and defence.
Penalty corner specialist Bram Lomans put the Dutch ahead in the very fourth minute and Taeke Taekema doubled the advantage from another set-piece in the 54th minute.
Baljit Singh Dhillon pulled one back just a minute later through a penalty corner conversion but the Indians failed to find an equaliser.
India, which drew the first match 1-1, trail the Dutch 0-1 in the series with the final match to be played on Sunday.
Despite the defeat, Indian coach Rajinder Singh was satisfied with the performance of his wards and tried to play down the result.
"Playing with five new faces, we could put pressure on Holland and I am happy with the result.
"We are improving and win or loss does not matter much," he added.
India and Netherlands have been looking at this Test series as an apt preparation for the upcoming Olympic Qualifiers to be held in Madrid next month.
Dutch coach Terry Walsh said his team played a controlled game and it was a tactical move which worked well.
"We have to improve our control on long ball in the next match," he said.
Indians looked off colour in the beginning as the Dutch displayed perfect combination and possession.
The constant aggression bore fruit within five minutes of the start as Lomans left the Indian custodian Bharat Chetri stranded.
The game went into a thrilling mode, with the Indians unleashing aggression and the Dutch tightening the grip with their solid defence and were 1-0 at half time.
Taekema then struck another blow 19 minutes after the breather as Chetri had no clue whatsoever.
A minute later, Dillon beat the Dutch goalkeeper Guus Vogels with a scoop to reduce the margin.
But that was all that the hosts could manage as the spirited Holland team thwarted every Indian attack thereafter.
Indian forwards Vikram Pillai, Arjun Hallappa and Dillon tried to make sharp forays into the Dutch territory but the but could not penetrate the visitor's defence.
The forwards were also guilty of missing some good chances as Halappa could only find Vogels in a one-to-one while Pillai's reverse flick went wide.
Inderjeet also missed to score when he fumbled at the post and then missed to even connect on the second attempt.
Netherlands - 2 (Bram Lomans 4th, Taeke Taekema 50th)
India -1 (Baljit Dhillon 54th).