India Draws with Netherlands in FIH Pro League 2023-24, Lose Shootout Bonus

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Dara Singh Chahal

Rourkela, 22nd Feb 2024: In a thrilling encounter at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela, the Indian men’s hockey team held the world No. 1 Netherlands to a 1-1 draw in their FIH Pro League 2023-24 match. However, despite the deadlock, the Dutch team claimed a bonus point by winning the shootout 4-2.

The game saw an early lead for the Netherlands as Floris Middendorp (4′) found the net, putting India under early pressure. Despite resilient defending, India managed to pull level in the 38th minute through Hardik Singh’s clinical finish off a penalty corner.

The shootout, however, tilted in favor of the Netherlands, with Jorrit Croon, Thierry Brinkman, Duco Telgenkamp, and Joep de Mol securing the win. Araijeet Singh Hundal and Lalit Kumar were on target for India.

Throughout the match, India displayed commendable effort and resilience, particularly in the second and third quarters where they fought hard to stay in the game. Despite mounting pressure in the final quarter, neither team could break the deadlock, leading to a shootout.

The draw puts India in a respectable position in the FIH Pro League standings, currently sitting fourth with 11 points from six matches. The Netherlands leads the points table with 20 points from 10 matches, followed by Australia with 15 points from five matches.

Looking ahead, India will face world No. 5 Australia in their next FIH Pro League 2023-24 match on Saturday, aiming to capitalize on their strong performance and secure crucial points in the league.

Despite missing out on the shootout bonus, India’s performance against the top-ranked Netherlands underscores their potential and determination to compete at the highest level in international hockey. As the tournament progresses, Indian hockey enthusiasts eagerly anticipate further displays of skill and tenacity from the national team.