India's Tour of Europe | Manpreet Singh's brace guides India to a 4-3 win over Netherlands

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India's Tour of Europe | Manpreet Singh's brace guides India to a 4-3 win over Netherlands

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SportsCafe Desk


The Indian men's hockey team finally opened their winning account on Sunday by defeating higher ranked Netherlands 4-3 at Waalwjik. Indian skipper Manpreet Singh scored two brilliant field goals which helped India come from a goal behind to secure a win over the Dutch.

After losing the first two matches on the tour of Europe to Belgium, India finally got back to winning ways in the third match against Netherlands on Sunday. The young Indian team was at its best against fourth ranked Netherlands and clinched a 4-3 win over the hosts.

The hosts started the game on the front foot with Mink Van der Weerden scoring in the fifth minute from a penalty to take a one goal lead over the visitors. However, Indian skipper Manpreet Singh then took charge and dominated the possession in the midfield that eventually paved the way for an Indian Penalty Corner.

India converted the penalty corner successfully as Varun Kumar slotted his first goal to bring the match back to level terms. The hosts yet again tried to take the lead with a penalty corner in the second quarter but were denied by a resolute Indian defense. The young Armaan Qureshi then created a beautiful chance for the Indian team by slicing the Netherlands defence to find Manpreet Singh who welcomed the opportunity with open arms and fired the ball home to help India take a 2-1 lead at the stroke of half time.

The men in blue continued to dominate the game in the third quarter and Varun Kumar had a chance to double his goals tally but missed out on the opportunity by firing the ball just wide of the goal. On the other hand, Netherlands continued to search for an equaliser with constant attacks on the Indian goal but defender Amit Rohidas and Aakash Chitke ensured that the lead for India stayed intact. 

Meanwhile, Manpreet Singh's name flashed on the scoreboard once again when he scored a brilliant field goal to double India's lead in the 44th minute of the match. He was followed by Harjeet Singh, who sealed the game for India four minutes after the resumption of the fourth quarter. 

However, the hosts threatened to snatch the game away from India's grasp with Bob de Voogd scoring twice in a space of eight minutes but India's three-goal lead eventually proved enough for them to secure a victory.

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