Credit: X

Credit: X

The Indian men’s hockey team defeated the Netherlands by 4-2 in the penalty shootout at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar during th eir  FIH Pro League clash. With just three minutes left in normal time, India, who were a goal down, equalised through a penalty corner strike from their captain, Harmanpreet Singh, to force a penalty shootout with the scoreline reading 2-2.

In the first quarter, Hardik Singh opened the scoring for India in front of the roaring fans in Bhubaneswar in the 13th minute. The equaliser from the Netherlands came at the flag end of the second quarter, through a penalty corner conversion through Jip Janssen.

The Netherlands went into a 2-1 lead in the third quarter in the 39th minute when Koen Bijen converted the second penalty corner of the night. India kept pushing for the equaliser before finding the goal in the 58th minute, thanks to the trademark penalty corner goal from the captain Harmanpreet Kaur, which sent the home fans at the Kalinga Stadium into absolute ecstasy.

In the penalty shootout, all four Indian players converted their attempts, namely, Harmanpreet Singh, Sukhjeet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, and Shamsher Singh converted. The ultimate hero of the contest was the legendary Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who saved attempts from Jorrit Croon and Jonas de Geus, which was more than enough despite the conversion from Jasper Brinkman and Koen Bijen.

Just a day ago, India had beaten Spain by a 4-1 margin at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar to start their FIH Pro League campaign on a bright note. They will next play Australia in the next league fixture at the same venue on February 15.