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India go down to Holland
- FOUR-NATION HOCKEY - Germany thrash Pakistan 6-0 in opener

Amsterdam: India paid the penalty for missing umpteen chances as Olympic champions Holland inflicted a 2-0 defeat on them in a league match of the four-nation Robobank hockey tournament here Sunday.

Earlier, Germany had thrashed Pakistan 6-0 in another match of the meet.

India, fresh from a three-week training camp in the US, suffered the loss in their first match of the competition with the hosts scoring on either side of the break, through Teun de Nooijer (30th) and Ronald Brouwer (39th).

The visitors, who came up with patchy performance, were undone by some close misses and failure to convert even once from as many as seven penalty corners.

Poor marking also did no good to their cause as they finished the match on a losing note.

The match, which saw the home side dominating for most part in overcast conditions, was India’s first game after their 21-day training camp at Tempe, Arizona, where they were given psychological as well as physical training.

The improvement in their game was evident in the first few minutes of the match when they gave hardly anything to their opponents with some solid defence and purposeful attacks.

The Indian defence held up firmly for most part of the first half before showing signs of cracks just before the half time, during which the Dutch score their first goal.

A fine cross from the half-line from Taeke Taekama was neatly deflected in by De Nooijer, who was waiting inside the box unmarked.

The next four minutes saw the home side coming close to extending their lead further taking advantage of some listless display by the Indian defenders.

India were themselves to blame for not taking a lead early on as they failed to convert any of the three short corners they earned through the brilliance of mercurial forward Dhanraj Pillay in the first 11 minutes of the match.

It was Germany’s fourth win over Pakistan in two weeks, having won 3-1 and 2-1 in Test matches in Berlin and 3-2 in Hamburg last Sunday.

Sohail Abbas failed to convert four penalty corners and a penalty stroke, while Germany took full advantage of defensive lapses by Pakistan.

After Christian Schulte, Bjorn Michel scored a field goal and converted a penalty corner to have Germany ahead 3-0 at the break. Florian Kunz scored from two penalty corners and Christoph Bechmann sealed the rout three minutes from time.

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