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India down plucky Holland

June 18, 2005 17:08 IST

India held off a late charge from Holland to win their opening encounter 4-3 in the four-nation junior hockey tournament in Bilbao, Spain, on Saturday.

Sandeep Singh's two brilliant drag-flick penalty-corner conversions guided India to a fine victory.

V Raja and Dhananjay Mahadik scored the other goals for the World champions.

In another match, hosts Spain thrashed Chile 6-1.

Sandeep set up the goal-glut for India, scoring in the fifth minute before Holland equalised through a field goal taking advantage of a defensive lapse.

But Mahadik's goal in the 25th minute ensured that India went to half-time with a 2-1 lead.

Two quick goals after the break put India in the driver's seat against their formidable European rivals.

Trailing 1-4, Holland made a last-ditch effort in the dying minutes and put a lot of pressure on the Indian defence with some incisive moves.

The Indian defence cracked under intense pressure as Holland scored two goals in the last 10 minutes – both through penalty-corners -- in the face of some poor work by William Xalco and Mahadik.

But the equaliser eluded the Dutch and India earned full points for a perfect start to the tournament.

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