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Rediff.com  » Sports » Hockey: India's men seal quarter-final spot despite Dutch loss

Hockey: India's men seal quarter-final spot despite Dutch loss

Last updated on: August 12, 2016 08:26 IST

- Even if Team India loses against Canada in their last group match on Friday, India are certain to make it to the last eight stage.

IMAGE: V R Raghunath, centre, scores a goal for India against the Netherlands in the Pool B men's hockey match on Day 6. Photograph: Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

India wasted as many as five penalty corners seconds from the final hooter to go down 1-2 against Netherlands but still sealed a quarter-final spot at Rio Olympics hockey competition in Rio de Janeiro, on Thursday.

Netherlands scored both their goals from penalty corners through Rogier Hoffman (32nd minute) and Mink van der Weerden (54th), while India's lone goal came from the stick of V R Raghunath (38th).

Despite the loss, India booked a quarter-final berth after reigning Olympic champions Germany drew 4-4 with Argentina in another Pool B match.

India are in third spot in the Pool B standings with six points from four matches. Even if they lose against Canada in their last group match on Friday, India are certain to make it to the last eight stage.

Argentina are in fourth spot with five points while Ireland are fifth with three points. Canada are at the bottom with no point.

Top four finishers from Pool A and Pool B qualify for the quarter-finals.

The India-Netherlands match witnessed intense drama in the final seconds as India did not bow out without a fight against the world ranked 2 side.

Trailing 1-2 with four minutes left, India withdrew goalkeeper PR Sreejesh for an additional forward and pressed hard for the equaliser.

Their efforts bore fruit as India earned their fourth penalty corner six seconds from the hooter after appealing for a video referral.

That penalty corner resulted in four more back-to-back short corners but the Indian dragflick battery of Rupinder Pal Singh, who took four tries, and Raghunath failed to break the Dutch defence led by goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann.

The Men in Blue, thus, suffered another heart-breaking defeat after the late loss to reigning Olympic champions Germany in their second Pool B game.

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