Breda (Netherlands): Indian colts suffered their second consecutive defeat in the Volvo Invitational Under-21 hockey tournament as they lost 1-2 to the hosts the Netherlands, here on Wednesday.
Bram van Groesen (18th and 57th) struck twice for hosts while Armaan Qureshi (59th) pulled one back for India. Suraj Karkera was brilliant under the bar as he stopped all penalty corner shots of the hosts.
In the 18th minute, the Dutch colts were awarded a penalty stroke, which was perfectly converted by van Groesen. After conceding the lead, the Indians fought back with zeal and attacked from all sides. However, they faced the stiff defence of the home side and they could not materialise on the opportunities. Post a close battle, the first-half finished at 1-0 score-line in favour of The Netherlands.
Second half started for India with better strategies to score goals. The Indian colts were desperately looking for a goal to level the score-card whereas The Netherlands team looked at doubling its lead.
The Indian attacks, led by Simranjeet Singh, Armaan Qureshi and skipper Harjeet Singh, managed to push the Dutch players in their half with their continuous charging. In the 57th minute, the host team counter-attacked with their fast-paced moves and this time again Bram van Groesen sent the ball in the Indian goal-box for the second goal.
Two minutes later, Indian forward Armaan charged back with his speedy run and hit the ball hard into nets to reduce the margin. With the motivating goal, the Indian colts attacked with more aggression and fought for an equaliser. In the dying minutes, both the teams managed to earn penalty corners but they failed to convert and eventually the match finished at 2-1 in favour of The Netherlands.
India will now clash with England on July 24.