Bhubaneswar, 9 December 2014: The Netherlands finished top of Pool B despite losing 3-2 to India in Tuesday’s last pool match. Grabbing their first win at the Hero Hockey Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar, host nation India moved up to third place of the pool overtaking Germany. Great play, huge team work coupled with goals from SV Sunil, Manpreet Singh and Rupinder Singh sealed the victory.
The Kalinga Stadium was sold out again when host nation India took on the Olympic and World Cup finalists from the Netherlands. The match started with an entertaining first quarter seeing Akashdeep Singh being blocked by Dutch goalie Pirman Blaak.
The Dutchmen were close to scoring through Jelle Galema and Robert van der Horst but Indian goalie Sreejesh Parattu kept them out. The hosts produced a couple of penalty corners in the second quarter which forced Blaak to show some terrific chances.
Rogier Hofman could have taken the lead just before halftime but Sreejesh cleared nce again. The Netherlands won their first penalty corner in the last minute of the first half but Mink van der Weerden’s drag-flick hit the crossbar. The halftime score remained goalless and tied at 0-0.
SV Sunil’s deflection opened the scoring in the Kalinga Stadium much to the delight of the enthusiastic home crowd. The men in orange took their video referral on this but the goal was confirmed. However, van der Weerden silenced the crowd shortly afterwards when his third penalty corner attempt found the net to level the score at 1-1.
The fourth quarter saw India firing it home thanks to a Manpreet Singh goal converting at the third phase and a Rupinder Singh penalty corner flick. Van der Weerden added another penalty corner goal on two minutes remaining to shorten the score to 3-2.
Speaking post the brilliant performance of his team, Captain Sardar Singh said “We all as a team are progressing day by day and we are focussing on playing even better in the upcoming matches. It has been an overall team effort that has helped us earn this win today against Netherlands. We learned from our mistakes that we did in the previous two matches and tried to rectify them. We will try even harder as the Quarter finals is of utmost importance”.
Speaking post the match, Netherlands Coach, Robert Horst said “Today we have not given our best effort, we played slow and India had a good start today. They showed high quality performance throughout the game so all credit to the Indian team. Winning & losing is a part of game. We will fight back in the next game against Pakistan”.
Speaking on the team’s win, India Coach, Roelant Oltmans said “Today was our day, the boys did a fantastic job. All credit goes to the entire team by ensuring that they keep the game high voltage and not allowing pressure to take over. Today they converted the opportunities that they got and this resulted in winning this game. We are looking forward to the quarter final match against Belgium and we will ensure that we continue this form”.
The quarter-finals will take place on Thursday 11th December 2014 with the line-up as follows:
England (Winner Pool A) v Germany (4th place Pool B)
Argentina (2nd place Pool B) v Australia (3rd place Pool A)
Belgium (2nd place Pool A) v India (3rd place Pool B)
Netherlands (Winner Pool B) v Pakistan (4th place Pool A)
Schedule of matches
11:30 NED V PAK
13:45 ARG V AUS
17:15 ENG V GER
19:30 BEL V IND