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Netherlands edge out India
December 16, 2005 20:58 IST
Last Updated: December 16, 2005 21:23 IST
The Netherlands overcame a spirited performance from India to beat them 2-1 in the last league match on Friday and seal their place in the final of the Chmapions Trophy in Chennai.
Australia, with four wins from as many games, top the table with 12 points with a game in hand, followed by Netherlands with 10 points. The final will be played on Sunday, December 18.
A controversial penalty corner conversion in the last minute by Taeke Taekema helped Netherlands edge out India in the keenly fought contest.
Outstanding performance by Bharat Chetri, awarded the man of the match, under the goal had seen the hosts hold Netherlands to 0-0 at half-time. But the Dutch converted their fifth penalty corner through Roderick Weusthof in the 51st minute to take the lead.
The home side scored the equaliser through another powerful drag-flick by young Sandeep Singh in the 66th minute, after a Arjun Halappa hit struck the foot of a defender.
The last penalty corner awarded to Netherlands by umpire McCracken caused much furore with the spectators making their anger and disappointment known.
Having lost the game, India are now in the fifth position with three points. An Aussie win over Pakistan will ensure that they don't drop to the bottom of the table.
A brace by Santi Freixa helped Spain beat former champions Germany 3-2 but the defending champions will have to settle for the third position in the league table.
The two teams will play for the 3rd and 4th placings.
Freixa scored in the fourth and 47th minute to help Spain gain a 2-0 lead, before Germans reduced the margin in the 51st minute through Niklas Meinert. Spain enhanced the lead through Ramon Algere in the 57th minute, only to see Germans hitting back again through Mathis Witthaus in the last quarter of the second session.
With this defeat, Germany finished their engagements with five points from five matches and will have to be content with playing for the third and fourth spot.
Both Spain and Germany made their intentions clear - attack from the beginning. The Germans, who last won the title at Rotterdam in 2001, were the first to have a shy at the goal as early as the second minute. But Christopher Zeller's ambitious reverse flick from an acute angle lacked direction.