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India let Dutch off the hook

Cologne, Aug. 31 (PTI): India squandered a golden opportunity to register a victory over The Netherlands when they conceded a last minute goal to split points in their opening match of the Champions Trophy on Saturday.

With just 40 seconds left in the match and India leading 3-2, the Dutch earned their sixth penalty corner, converted by Matthijs Brouwer to make it 3-3.

India, who had lost 2-5 to The Netherlands a week earlier in the Rabobank Classic, were a completely different side, especially in the second half, where they dominated the midfield and were dangerous inside the circle. The initial exchanges went the Dutch way as their forward line of Teun de Nooijer and Rob Derikx had the Indian defence sweating.

The Netherlands took the lead in the 11th minute. Taeke Taekema’s flick off the first penalty corner beat the Indian defence and goalkeeper Devesh Chauhan.

India equalised after being awarded a penalty stroke when a rampaging Prabhjot Singh was brought down by Jan Geert just in front of the goal post. Jugraj’s flick in the 22nd minute made it 1-1. India missed an opportunity to take the lead soon after when Prabhjot failed to latch on after being fed one by Bimal Lakra near the goalmouth.

The Netherlands took the lead again just moments before half-time, Brouwer deflecting one into the Indian post.

The Indian equaliser came in the 58th minute off the third penalty corner. Lakra flicked the ball to Pillay on top of the circle, who gave it to Prabhjot on the edge of the goalline. But Prabhjot, hemmed in by the Dutch tapped the ball back to Pillay who slammed it high into the goal.

India shot into the lead when Thakur passed the ball to Prabhjot, who shot it into the corner of the post.

German fightback

In the tournament opener, world champions Germany made a spirited comeback in the dying moments to beat Pakistan 3-2.

With just four minutes for time, Germany 1-2 down, fought back valiantly to snatch an equaliser and then struck the winner through Bjorn Emmerling.

Captain Florian Kunz converted a penalty in the 66th minute to score the second goal for Germany. Germany took the lead in the 19th minute when Domke struck. Two minutes later, in a counter-attack, Pakistan levelled through Kashif Jawad.

South Korea upset Aussies

Yeo Woon Kon struck twice as South Korea upset Australia with a 3-2 victory. Though Australia took the lead in the 19th minute, Korea scored the equaliser in the 33rd minute through a penalty corner and made it 2-1 19 minutes into the second half.

Nathan Eglington drew the first blood for the Australians. But South Korea struck with two goals scored off penalty corners by Woon Kon. Soon the Koreans made it 3-1 through Hwang Jong Hyun. Australia pulled one back through Michael McCann.

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