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FIH Pro League: Indian Women's Hockey Team Loses To Second String Netherlands

India lost the match 1-3 in shootout where only Navneet Kaur scored for the side while Rajwinder, Neha and Jyoti missed the target.

The match was taken to shootout after both the teams got tied at 1-1 in the regulation time.
The match was taken to shootout after both the teams got tied at 1-1 in the regulation time. Twitter/@sports_odisha

The Indian women's hockey team dished out a below-par performance to suffer a 1-3 loss to Olympic champions Netherlands' second string side in the shootout after both sides were locked 1-1 in the regulation time in the second match of their FIH Pro League tie in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. (More Hockey News)

Rajwinder Kaur scored in the first minute of the match and the Dutch side, playing in Bhubaneswar without any player who have won gold in the Tokyo Olympics last year, equalised in the 53rd minute through captain Jansen Yibbi to take the match to the shootout.

Jansen was the most experienced player of the Dutch side with 24 caps before Saturday's match. Only four other Dutch players have played more than 10 international matches. 

Captain and goalkeeper Savita was the most experienced Indian with 223 caps.

India, who are also without three key players in Lalremsiami, Salima Tete and Sharmila Devi from the historic fourth-place finish in the Tokyo Olympics, had won the first match 2-1 on Friday. That win was the first against the Netherlands in over a decade.

India collected one point from the match to remain on second spot in the standings, while the Netherlands also retained their numero uno position. 

The Dutch now have 19 points from eight matches, while India have 16 points, also from eight matches.

Only Navneet Kaur scored for India in the shootout while Rajwinder, Neha and Jyoti missed the target. 

For the Dutch side, Barentsen Marente, Fortuin Kyra and Jansen sounded the board, while Morgenstern Fiona missed the target in the shootout.

After beating Netherlands 2-1 on Friday in a creditable performance, the Indians were outperformed by the Dutch players after taking a lightening fast lead in the 34th second on the clock. 

India got two penalty corners as soon as the match started and Rajwinder found the target with a deflection from the second.

But after that it was second string Dutch team that dictated the terms with more ball possession and circle penetration. The Indians lacked direction and creativity and lost possession too often.

Just like in the first match, the Indian defence was rock solid till  it conceded the equaliser in the fourth quarter, seven minutes from regulation time after incessant attack from the Dutch, who were desperate to find a goal.

The Netherlands got as many as six penalty corners in quick succession. They scored from the sixth one with Jansen sending a high shot past Savita into the goal.

The Indian team will travel to Belgium for its next matches on June 11 and 12.

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