Indian Women’s Team Stuns Netherlands In FIH Pro League
- India registered their first win against Netherlands in over a decade.
- The Dutch did not start the game as overwhelming favourites.
- Navneet Kaur, playing in her 100th match for India won the player of the match.
Bhubaneswar: The Indian women’s hockey team stunned Olympic champions Netherlands 2-1 in the first match of their double leg FIH Pro League tie on Saturday. The Indians scored through Neha (11th minute) and Sonika (28th), both from penalty corners, to hand the home team a 2-0 lead at halftime. After the change of ends, the Netherlands scored from a penalty corner through Jansen Yibbi in the 40th minute to reduce the margin. This was India’s fourth win in the FIH Pro League.
India avenged the 1-5 drubbing against the Netherlands in the pool stage of the Tokyo Games. The victory took India to the second spot in the standings with 15 points from seven games, while the Netherlands continued to lead the table with 17 points from as many matches. Both the teams will lock horns again in the second match of the tie. Early into the second quarter, Rajwinder missed a golden opportunity to double India’s lead with only the Dutch goalkeeper to beat as she sent her shot wide.
Two minutes from halftime, India doubled their lead from another penalty corner through Sonika, who calmly slotted home following a goalmouth scramble. Ten minutes into the third quarter, the Netherlands secured a penalty corner which resulted in a penalty stroke after the ball hit Monika’s body in front of the goal. India captain and goalkeeper Savita guessed the direction right but couldn’t keep away Yibbi’s shot as the Netherlands reduced the margin to 1-2. Thereafter, the Dutch women put the Indian defence under tremendous pressure with continuous raids but the home team’s defence stood like a rock to garner full three points and a rare win over the Netherlands.