Rio 2016 | India lose 1-2 to Netherlands after missing five penalty corners in a row

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Rio 2016 | India lose 1-2 to Netherlands after missing five penalty corners in a row

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Amlan Majumdar

08/11/2016

Netherlands maintained their unbeaten start with a 2-1 win over India in the Group B match at Rio on Thursday as Mink van der Weerden scored the winner. In a nail-biting finish to the match, India were awarded 5 penalty corners in a row, with the clock set at zero, but they failed to convert.

Netherlands dominated most of the possession in the opening exchanges of the game as India sat back in their own half. However, the Dutchmen were not able to convert possession into attacking threats. India were comfortable without the ball, and their opponents were comfortable without it. It was a slow-burner, to say the least.

The second quarter followed the same pattern. Although, this timePR Sreejesh was forced into some relatively easy saves with his foot. India, on the other hand, failed to have a single shot on target in the whole of the first half as they concentrated solely on keeping a clean sheet.

India started the 3rd quarter on the backfoot as they conceded a penalty corner in the 33rd minute, and Mink van der Weerden’s shot was brilliantly kept out by PR Sreejesh. However, the rebound fell kindly for Rogier Hofman, and he drilled it past the Indian skipper, who was still on the ground.

However, India replied back just six minutes later. VR Raghunath won a penalty corner for India, and Rupinder Pal Singh's shot was saved by Jacob Stockmann with his right glove, but he conceded another penalty corner in the process. This time, it was Raghunath who took it, and the big man drilled in a low shot into the right-hand corner of the net to make it 1-1.

The third quarter ended on a disastrous note for India, though. VR Raghunath and SV Sunil received a yellow card each, and both left the pitch after being suspended for 5 minutes. India were left with 9 men on the pitch, and Netherlands poured men forward to take advantage of their numerical superiority.

Netherlands earned a penalty corner in the 47th minute of the match. Seve van Ass drilled in a powerful shot from the penalty corner, but Sreejesh produced another impressive save to keep India in it. A few minutes later, it was Mink van der Weerden with an attempt on goal from a penalty corner, but once again, Sreejesh came out with a fantastic save.

Sreejesh was eventually beaten, though. In the 53rd minute, Netherlands earned another penalty corner, and this time, Wink van der Weerden drove it hard and low into the left corner of the net. There was nothing Sreejesh could have done about that.

Soon, Sreejesh was replaced by Ramandeep Singh on the pitch, and India played without a proper goalkeeper. VR Raghunath was deployed as the sweeper-keeper for India as they threw everything they had at Netherlands, and the Dutchmen blinked with just two minutes remaining on the clock.

India won a penalty corner in the 58th minute, and that started a series of five penalty corners with the clock being stopped at zero. However, India failed to convert them and lost the match 1-2. Their failure to convert penalty corners came back to haunt them once again. They will now take on Canada in their next game, and a draw will be enough to take them through to the next stage.

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