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India defeated the higher ranked Holland side in their 3rd group stage match of the Champions Trophy 2014 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhuvneshwar today. It was an excellent performance by the Indian team as they gelled like a unit. This performance will boost the team ahead of the quarter finals stage which will begin on Thursday. It was watched by a full capacity and enjoyed the match as they cheered for each save by the keeper and goal scored by the Indian team.
In the first quarter of the match Holland began well. The Indian team missed a chance when the forward player‘s stroke was well saved by the Holland keeper. Again India got a chance in the 10th minute but shpt wide off goal. First quarter score board read 0-0.
The second quarter began well on a positive note when India was awarded a penalty corner in 1.45 minute but the Holland team asked for a review that showed that the ball had hit the striker outside the ‘D’ and the video umpire reversed the decision. Then Holland tried two shots in 5.25 and 6.40 but both shots were very well saved by the Indian goalkeeper. After that Holland got a penalty corner in 8.45 when the defender Mustafa deflected the ball away from the goal. In 13.45 India got two penalty corners in quick succession that was wasted. At the end of first half it was 0-0 again.
In the third quarter India took the lead in 2.30 minute when bullet like shot came evading 2 defenders and Sunil deflected the same into the goal from a very close distance. Holland asked for a review but the original decision of a goal was held up. In the 4.49 minute Harjot goalkeeper who had replaced Sreejesh saved a goal. In the 5th minute Holland was awarded a penalty corner and it was converted into a goal equaling the score to 1-1. Holland got another penalty corner in last few seconds of this quarter but could not take advantage.
In the 4th quarter India scored in the 1st minute when a shot was hit by Rupinder from outside the ‘D’ and it was smashed into the goal by Manpreet Singh in the 3rd rebound from the Holland goalkeeper to give India a lead a 2-1 lead. In 2.52 minute India earned a penalty corner and was converted into a goal by Rupinder Pal Singh to give India a 3-1 advantage. After that Holland tried to hit the goal but Harjot Singh saved a certain goal. In the last 2 minutes Holland earned a penalty corner and converted into goal to reduce the margin to 3-2. Last 3 minutes was a quick exchange but of no consequence.
India will play Belgium in the quarter finals. This performance will give India lot of confidence to perform expecationally well like they did today. The real action begins from Thursday and hope that India can strategize to better this performance or at least repeat the same level performance.
Image Courtesy: NDTV