Hockey Pro League: India women beat ‘depleted’ Olympic champions Netherlands 2-1 in first match

BHUBANESHWAR: The Indian women’s hockey team stunned Olympic champions Netherlands 2-1 in the first match of their double leg FIH Pro League tie here on Saturday.
The Indians scored through Neha (11th minute) and Sonika (28th), both from penalty corners, to hand the home team a 2-0 lead at half time.
After the change of ends, the Netherlands scored from a penalty corner through Jansen Yibbi in the 40th minute to reduce the margin.
This was India’s fourth win in the FIH Pro League.
Even though the Netherlands have arrived here with a second-string side, it was a creditable performance from the Indians as they were also without three key players — Lalremsiami, Salima Tete and Sharmila Devi, who were part of India’s historic fourth-place finish in the Tokyo Olympics.
Netherlands have come here without any player from their successful Olympic campaign.
India avenged the 1-5 drubbing against the Netherlands in the pool stage of the Tokyo Games.
The victory took India to the second spot in the standings with 15 points from seven games, while the Netherlands continued to lead the table with 17 points from as many matches.
Both the teams will lock horns again in the second match of the tie on Saturday.
Even though India enjoyed more possession, the Netherlands were the better side on display in terms of circle penetration, shots on goal and penalty corners.
The Netherlands had 30 circle penetrations, 13 shots on goal and seven penalty corners as compared to India’s 12 circle penetrations, five shots on goal and three set pieces.


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