After the Dutch, Indian hockey team will take on New Zealand in next match

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indian-hockey-in-olympicsAug 1, London: On Monday, India played their first Olympic match since eight years and were clearly intimidated by the No. 3-ranked Netherlands. But it promised a lot to see them get settled and fight from a 0-2 deficit to draw level and rattle the Netherlands at one stage. And against New Zealand, they shouldn’t settle for anything less than a win.

After giving the Dutch a lot of space to move around in the first period, the Indians got their act together and with a bit of luck, could have earned a share of the spoils.

In the first half, India put pressure on themselves by wrong passing and lack of co-ordination. The Netherlands got hold of the game and scored twice, though both goals could have been prevented.

Robert van der Horst was given acres of space in the danger area and even when he entered the striking circle, Sardar Singh was too slow to close him down.

Even the second goal, which came off a penalty corner, could have been avoided. Manpreet Singh was on the line and got his stick to Roderick Weusthof’s shot, but could not keep it down.

Sardar seemed off colour in the first half, but was his usual self in the second. The other player to have a great game was captain and goalkeeper Bharat Chetri, who made three or four great saves. SV Sunil was also good with the ball and went past defenders regularly.

Returning to the Olympics after a gap of eight years, eight-time champions, India lost 2-3 to The Netherlands in their opening encounter of the London Games, which has left them shaky and confused.

Against the Dutch, the Indian players, all but two of them making their maiden Olympic appearance, seemed tentative and jittery.

But if they wish to bring smiles back on the faces of Indian hockey fans, Michael Nobbs’ boys have no other option but to get their acts together against the Black Sticks.

The Indians seemed to be content to defend in the entire first half against The Netherlands, and played their natural game only after the change of ends.

New Zealand who had also lost their opening encounter to Korea 0-2, will look to open the wounds of defeat they inflicted on the eight-time Olympics champions not too long ago, when they beat them 5-1. However, should India hold their nerves and play like they did in the second half against the Dutch, the Black Sticks will have plenty to worry about.

News Gathered by India News

Posted by on Wednesday, August 1st, 2012. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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