Hockey World League Final: India lose 1-3 to Netherlands, finish last in pool
The loss meant India finished at the bottom of Pool B with just one point from three matches and will now take on Pool A toppers in the quarterfinals.
Raipur: An inconsistent India lost 1-3 to the Netherlands to slump to their second defeat in the tournament and finish at the bottom of Pool B at the Hockey World League (HWL) Final here on Monday.
Netherlands took the lead in the 36th minute through a penalty corner conversion by Mink van der Weerden before Mirco Pruijser (43rd) and Roel Bovendeert (54th) scored two field goals. India's lone goal came from the sticks of Kangujam Chinglensana in the 47th minute.
On the eve of the match, India's chief coach Roelant Oltmans had said that the hosts would have to do away with their inconsistent show if they want to progress in world hockey but his words hardly had any impact on his side as they produced another lacklustre performance to slump to their second loss in the eight-nation tournament
The loss meant India finished at the bottom of Pool B with just one point from three matches and will now take on Pool A toppers in the quarterfinals, starting Wednesday.
The Netherlands, meanwhile, have topped Pool B with seven points out of two wins and a draw and will play the bottom placed team of Pool A.
By virtue of this win, the Netherlands have also managed to avenge their 2-3 loss against India during the pool matches of Champions Trophy in Bhubaneshwar last year.
After a disappointing tournament opener against Argentina, India produced an inspired show to hold Olympic champions Germany to a 1-1 draw and soon after the match Oltmans called his wards to play consistent hockey.
But the coach's words seemed to have fallen on deaf ears as the Indians were nowhere near the level they had dished out against Germany the other day.
The Indians had just 36 per cent ball possession as against their rivals' 64. The hosts managed just eight shots at the goal while Netherlands had 18 to their credit, a grim reality about India's inconsistent showing.
India made a couple of forays into the opposition circle in the first quarter but the strikers failed to make most of the opportunities.
India had the first scoring chance in the 11th minute when Dharamvir Singh's cross from the right found Ramandeep Singh inside the circle but the striker's feeble push was easily padded away by Netherlands goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann.
Four minutes later, Thierry Brinkman created Netherlands first chance but his push from goalmouth went over the bar.
In the second quarter, Netherlands had more chances than India but they somewhat failed to convert them into goals.
In the 26th minute, Valentin Verga's reverse hit from a tight angle was off the target before Roel Bovendeert shot wide from close range after he was set up by a fine play from Niek van der Schoot and Jeroen Hertzberger.
In the final minute of the opening half, V R Raghunath's defence-splitting diagonal slap from the midfield had no takers as it went on to hit the board as both the teams failed to break the deadlock at the halfway mark.
Three minutes into the second half, India had another opportunity but Akashdeep Singh failed to trap Manpreet Singh's cross from the right flank.
Minutes later, Netherlands earned their first penalty corner, courtesy a dangerous play by Birendra Lakra and from the resultant chance Mink van der Weerden scored with a powerful low flick to the right of Indian custodian Sreejesh. Four minutes later, Sreejesh made a fine save to deny Seve van Ass from top of the circle.
But Netherlands were not to be denied their second goal as they world number three side doubled their lead in the 43rd minute through a field strike by Pruisjer.
Indian defence was to be blamed for the goal as they left Pruisjer unmarked inside the box and the striker just had to slap van der Weerden's cross past Sreejesh to make the scoreline 2-0 in the Dutchmen's favour.
India managed to pull one back four minutes later when Chinglensana scored from the hosts' first penalty corner with a rebound shot after Rupinder Pal Singh's initial flick was saved by the Dutch keeper.
The goal seemed to have failed to inspire the Indians as they conceded another goal six minutes from the hooter when Bovendeert got plenty of space inside the box to whack the ball inside the Indian goal after he was set up a brilliant play by Floris van der Linden who dribbled past three defenders to set it up for his teammate.
Meanwhile in the last match of the day, world number five Argentina stunned Olympic champions Germany 3-1 to finish second in Pool B.
Drag-flicker Gonzalo Peillat (17th and 50th minutes) struck twice from penalty corners to hand Argentina their second win in the tournament.
Germany's lone goal came from the sticks of Niklas Wellen in the 26th minute.
Argentina, thus, finished second in Pool B ahead of Germany, who ended the pool stages on the third position.
Argentina will face the third placed team in Pool A in the quarterfinals while Germany will lock horns against the second best team.
The quarterfinal line-up will be finalised tomorrow after the Pool A matches between world champions Australia and Canada, and between Great Britain and Belgium.