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London 2012: Olympic News
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Valiant India goes down in the Olympic opener. (7/30/2012)
--s2h team
Valiant India goes down in the Olympic opener.

Indians have certainly made progress but it was a whisker shorter than required. The Netherlands, who defeated India in the opener of the 2004 Olympics 3-0, today managed to score the same number of goals, but the Indians did not go replying.

Dharamvir Singh and Shivender Singh struck in the space of couple of minutes in the second half to neutralize both the first half Dutch goals. undefined

Thereafter came the winning goal of the Dutch though their last penalty corner. Van Der Weerden’s flick hit the roof top, which went unanswered.

Statistically speaking nothing seemed to have changed. India lost the opener of another major tournament, forwards fail to get adequate penalty corners and then their rival, despite being not in form, could garner three points.

However, it must be mentioned here that Indians came back into the game from a hopeless situation, after conceding two goals in the first half, and with that returned for lemon time.

SV Sunil, SK Uthappa, Sardar Singh strove hard, but quite often the forwards did not measure upto. A Tushar Khandker’s cross midway through the second half went without connection, and such misses were galore.

The Dutch played out a watch and wait game in the first 20 minutes or so, and then let their precision talk loud and clear, earning dividends twice.

However, the Indians, especially V Ragunath did not allow even solos do any damage. Nooijer, playing his fifth Olympics was rendered redundant by the Indian defence, Chetri measuring up to mess up his close range hits and flicks. Nooijer was not played in the second half by the coach Ass.

India got a penalty corner in the first half, early in the proceedings, but Raghunath’s powerful flick was anticipated by the rival goalie, who also blocked the rebound shot.

That the Dutch converted both of their penalty corners need to be noticed. To be fair, India did not concede many PCs, defense was good, and need to be precise upfront.

India could have gone up early in the match, when it pressed hard, but the finish was not there. Shivender seemad a bit slow, and then Sunil seen ploughing lonely.

Over all, India need to play a structured hockey for about 70 minutes, not just in spells.

At the same time, let us not forget India is seven ranks below the Dutch in the contemporary heirarchy.

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