In a gripping encounter at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday, India secured an exhilarating 4-2 shootout victory against the defending champions, the Netherlands, in their second match of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023-24. The standout performance came from goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, whose exceptional saves in the shootout played a pivotal role in India earning a bonus point. Noteworthy contributions came from Harmanpreet Singh, Sukhjeet Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, and Shamsher Singh, who successfully converted their chances.
The regulation time concluded with a thrilling 2-2 draw, with Hardik Singh (13′) and Harmanpreet Singh (58′) finding the net for India, while Jip Janssen (30′) and Koen Bijen (39′) scored for the Dutch. Despite the Netherlands making early attacking moves, Indian goalkeeper Krishan B Pathak showcased resilience, denying the opposition any early advantage.
Never say never as the Captain's penalty corner delivers a clutch goal, making the match a thrilling tie.
The game reached a nerve-wracking shootout showdown, India take 2 points with the shoot-out victory bonus, while Netherlands take a point for the draw.
India 🇮🇳 2 -… pic.twitter.com/PLHXZd7rU7
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) February 11, 2024
India took some time to find their rhythm, with their first significant opportunity arising in the 12th minute through consecutive penalty corners, though they couldn’t capitalize on them.
India began the second quarter on a positive note, maintaining possession of the ball, but struggled to pose a significant threat. Despite securing consecutive penalty corners, the Dutch thwarted India’s attempts to extend their lead. The visiting team earned their initial penalty corner in the 25th minute but failed to capitalize on it. Nevertheless, they maintained their aggressive approach and were eventually rewarded with another penalty corner in the closing moments of the first half. Janssen capitalized on this opportunity, accurately slotting the ball into the bottom corner, resulting in a 1-1 score at halftime. The start of the second half was cautious, with both teams carefully controlling the ball in the midfield and avoiding any significant openings.