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Junior Hockey: India lose to Netherlands in 8-Nation U-21 Invitational

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India (Junior) suffered their second successive defeat as they lost to the Netherlands 2-3 at the 8-Nations U-21 Invitational Hockey tournament in Madrid on Tuesday.
 
India had lost to Australia 0-4 in the previous match.
 
In a tentative first quarter, it was the Netherlands who snatched the initiative early, Jim van de Venne scoring in the 5th minute to give them the lead. 
 
Despite the early setback, India did not drop their game plan and were constantly on the attack looking for an equaliser. In the second quarter, both teams attacked with vigour and their defensive qualities were pushed to the brink. 
 
It was India who scored first, Vishnukant Singh getting the equaliser in the 23rd minute at the end of a brilliant move. 
 
Within three minutes, though, the Netherlands regained  their lead with Van de Venne, converting a penalty corner for his second goal of the game. At half-time, the Netherlands led 2-1.
 
In the third quarter, both sides displayed intensity and high-speed play, producing some great hockey for the eyes. Derck de Vilder's goal in the 32nd minute extended the Netherlands' lead and gave them a two-goal cushion.
 
India, though, did not let their shoulders drop and kept the pressure up. Their play yielded results soon. Koen Bijen picked up a green card in the 36th minute, leaving the Netherlands a player short on the field, and India capitalised on the advantage almost immediately. 
 
Sudeep Chirmako capped off a superb move to reduce the deficit to one goal in the 37th minute. The teams went into the break with the Netherlands leading 3-2.
 
India went into the final quarter with the knowledge that an equaliser early in the period would be crucial. They attacked with gusto throughout the period but the Dutch defence was more than equal to the task and, despite a Valentijn Charbon yellow card in the final minute, ensured they took home the victory.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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