India fails to break the jinx, goes down 1-2, out of World Cup
Harpal Singh Bedi / Bhubaneswar
At the end it was a heart break as India bade tearful adieu to the World cup. India missed a chance to script a new chapter as they went down 1-2 to the Netherlands in the edge of the seat quarter final of the 14th Hockey World Cup at Kalinga stadium here today.
With this the the fact last four line up of the World cup was completed; England will take on Belgium, while the Netherlands will face defending champion Australia in the semi finals on Saturday.
India had a chance to get into the semi finals of this competition after 43 years but the Dutch upped the ante in the last quarter and came out with a winner in the 50th off a penalty corner and held tenaciously to that slender lead
Thierry Brinkman (15th),Mink van der Weerden (50th) scored a goal each for the winners while Akashdeep Singh scored first for hosts in the 12th minute
The Indians gave the formidable Dutch run for their money as they matched them move for move, attack for attack. In fact in the second and third quarter the hosts enjoyed edge over their rivals But it all boiled down to converting even half chances.
The teams opened the game under different kinds of pressure. There was a packed stadium expecting India to dominate, while the Netherlands, thrice winner, had their reputation at stake.
It was tentative start to the tense last quarterfinal and the teams were not willing to take risk and kept probing each other for six or seven minutes. The ball was confined in the middle with mid fielders playing their role feeding their strikers but the defence of both sides making some good saves.
The Dutch after warding off few Indian moves made an incisive through Jeroen Hetrzberger but Kothajit and Surender combined well to foil the attack. Another attack this time again from left saw Mirco Pruijser into action but he too failed to cut through the defence.
Indian generated a counter move which unsettled the Dutch defence and they conceded the penalty corner . Harmanpreet’s flick was cleared but on the rebound Akashdeep sent the ball home leaving the defenders bewildered (1-0) and the stadium erupted
The jubilation lasted barely a minute as the Dutch made a furious counter and caught the Indian defence off guard. as unmarked Thierry Brinkman inside the circle deflected a shot from the middle into the net (1-1) and silence descended on the stadium.
Indians started the second quarter on aggressive note with Simranjeet Singh and Lalit Upadhyay creating good moves while. Akashdeep and Nilakanta Sharma in the middle kept the flanks moving with good distribution.
The Dutch surprisingly were edgy. Their interceptions were as not clean and time and again they fumbled inside the Indian circle. It was very unlike the three time winners who looked bit off colour
Towards the end of the third quarter Thierry Brinkman made an dangerous but abortive move as Indian defenders closed on him to take the ball away.
Three minutes into the last quarter Simranjeet made a fantastic run into the circle but his shot went a begging in front of the goal. It was a sitter for his teammates but no one could get their stick to turn it in. In a hide sight this was missed chance that cost India the match
Two minutes later the Dutch countered and they won penalty corner and Mink van der Weerden converted it (2-1) to the dismay of the packed stadium.
The crowd came alive when a couple of minutes Chinglensana Singh earned a penalty corner after Sander Baart felled him. But Harmanpreet Singh could not beat . Pirmin Blaak who pulled of a good save . Four minute to go coach Harendra took out goalkeeper and Indian went all-out attack for the equaliser but that was not to be. The Dutch managed to roughshod the remaining period to make their 10th entry into the semi final in this tournament.
India's campaign comes to a halt at the OHMWC Bhubaneswar 2018 after an unfortunate defeat against @oranjehockey. Here are a few photographs from the match.
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) December 13, 2018