- Captain Harmanpreet Singh (15′) and Dilpreet Singh (50′) score as team secures third place in the 100th Anniversary Spanish Hockey Federation- International Tournament
Barcelona: The Indian Men’s Hockey Team beat the reigning FIH Hockey Pro League Champions The Netherlands 2-1 in the third-fourth placing match here at the 100th Anniversary Spanish Hockey Federation – International Tournament on Sunday. India Captain Harmanpreet Singh (15′) and Dilpreet Singh (50′) scored in India’s hard-fought victory while Thierry Brinkman (25′) scored the lone goal for the Dutch side. Interestingly, all goals came from PCs today – reemphasizing on a good penalty corner attack.
While India got off to a cautious start, not allowing the Dutch to make easy forays into the striking circle. The team’s forwards, on the other hand, stitched together clever strategy that forced the Dutch defenders to make errors. The tactic worked when India managed their first PC with just 30 seconds left for the first hooter. In-form Indian Skipper Harmanpreet Singh, who had to re-take the dragflick after the first attempt was stopped by Netherlands’ first rusher, was on target fetching his team an important 1-0 lead in the 15th minute.
The following quarter saw The Netherlands bounce back when Thierry Brinkman converted a well-executed penalty corner in the 20th minute. The equaliser did not deter the Indian team as they remained determined in their pursuit to end their campaign on a winning note. While no goals came through in the third quarter, there were some tense moments in the fourth quarter when the match looked like it would go into a penalty shootout.
While The Netherlands squandered a few opportunities to score, the Indian side did well to hold their nerves and convert from a PC in the 50th minute. While Amit Rohidas’ drag was padded away by the Dutch goalie Mauritis Visser, India’s fearless striker Dilpreet Singh picked up a fine rebound to push the ball into the post.
The 2-1 lead mounted pressure on the Dutch side who looked for ways to score an equaliser. In the final moments, they were successful in earning back-to-back PCs but India did well to defend their score and finish on a winning note.
Next, the Indian team led by Harmanpreet Singh will arrive in Chennai in the early hours of Tuesday morning to play the much-awaited Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023 starting 3rd August at the iconic Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium in Egmore.