Hockey, Men’s Four Nations: Harmanpreet Singh scores as India hold Netherlands to a drawJuly 27, 2023
The Indian men’s hockey team came up with a valiant performance against the reigning FIH Pro League champions Netherlands to record a 1-1 draw in an intensely-fought match at the ongoing 100th Anniversary Spanish Hockey Federation – International Tournament on Wednesday.
Captain Harmanpreet Singh scored India’s lone goal in the 12th minute, while Jasper Brinkman equalised the score for the Netherlands in the 40th minute.
Getting off the blocks in an attacking mode, India built on early momentum. They created chances in the circle and eventually secured an early lead when the team earned a penalty corner.
Although it was the Dutch side that earned the first PC of the match, that flick was dragged wide to the left of the post.
India, however, made no such error when they were awarded a PC in the 12th minute. Harmanpreet Singh was on song when he picked up a fine injection by his deputy Hardik Singh and ruthlessly struck it past the Dutch goalie.
The 1-0 lead in the first quarter put India in command.
In the second quarter, both teams traded PCs but neither could find success with Krishan Pathak, who stepped in for PR Sreejesh, managing some brilliant saves. India too kept the Dutch goalie Mauritis Visser busy as they earned back-to-back PCs but were unable to extend their lead.
Continuing to stay ahead with a slender lead at half-time, India looked more confident in their pursuit while the Dutch continued to hunt for that elusive first goal.
The third quarter began with both teams winning a PC each. Returning to the post, experienced Sreejesh remained calm in his endeavour to keep the opponents from converting a PC while Visser too remained as impressive, stopping India from scoring their second goal.
Finally, it was the experienced dragflicker Jasper Brinkman who helped Netherlands equalise via a splendid PC effort.
In the dying minutes of the third quarter India produced an excellent counter-attack led by Harmanpreet in a bid to regain the lead, but he could not find the gap to penetrate the circle.
The fourth quarter remained tense with both teams pushing for a win. Though both teams created chances, neither could convert.
India will next take on England in their third game of the tournament on Friday.