DUTCH STOPS WINNING STREAK OF INDIA
Day 6 of the world league semi-finals here in London saw some crucial matches and deciders for the quarter finals. First was Scotland taking on Canada in what was the must win game for Scotland to qualify for quarters. Both the teams started cautiously without giving enough chances to their opponents to score. The game’s first goal came in 30th minute when Canada’s Gordon Johnston scored a superb goal thanks to a penalty corner. Scotland equalised in 48th minute of the match thanks to Willie Marshal with a well taken penalty corner.
Most of the remaining match went without any real action. Match ended in 1–1 draw forcing the Scots out of the competition but they should be really proud of their performance and it was a big learning curve for the 23rd rank team in the world for their future competitions.
Next was India taking on Netherlands. Both the teams have done superbly in the tournament without any defeats. India were in good form after thrashing their arch rivals Pakistan 7–1 in their previous match. However, it didn’t start as India would have hoped for. A sloppy display by Sardar Singh losing the ball in their own half in the early minutes of the game saw Netherlands taking the lead thanks to Thiery Brinkmann with an excellent finish. Netherland was dominating the game in all aspect and most of the match was happening in one side of the pitch only. It was only 12th minute of the game when Sander Baart took an excellent penalty corner in the bottom left corner of the goal. Akash Chitke had no chance of stopping that shot by Baart which had some serious venom behind that. Second quarter started with no real difference and the dutch showed their supremacy physically and tactically. Third goal was scored with a magnificent finish from Mirco Prujsier in the top corner with no chance of keeper stopping that. India showed some resilience at the end of quarter and it paid off with an excellent field goal by Akashdeep Singh. A super finish between the legs and eyes on the opposite direction of the goal, indeed it was one off a goal. Before the half India got chance with a penalty corner but Harmanpreet failed to beat the tall dutch keeper.
Second half went with quite some exchanges and turnovers in the middle of pitch. India got good chances with couple of penalty corners but they failed to beat Sam van der wan in dutch post who was superb in the whole match. It ended 3–1 to Netherlands who topped the group with India finishing second. Netherlands will face China and India will take on Malaysia in the quarter finals on 22nd June.