India and Netherlands men off to winning start in Bhubaneswar

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The Netherlands men got the second mini-tournament of the FIH Hockey Pro League in Bhubaneswar, India off to a perfect start with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Ireland.

In the second match of the day, a dominant second quarter saw home side India getting the better of the Red Sticks, beating the Spanish side 4-1.

 

(Men’s) Ireland 1 – 5 Netherlands

Floris Wortelboer celebrated his 100th cap for the Netherlands in a hard-fought 5-1 win over Ireland. The Dutch stamped their authority on the match early, pressing high and applying immense pressure on the Irish defence. Tjep Hoedemakers opened the scoring off a short corner variation in the 12th minute, deflecting a rocketed pass over the postman’s head from a metre wide of goal. Jorrit Croon made it two in the 21st minute, swatting in a rebound off Jamie Carr’s mask after Joep de Mol had opened up the defence with great acceleration along the baseline. Ireland had some good opportunities, but missed a penalty corner and then clattered one into the upright from open play to trail 2-0 at half-time.

The third quarter served up plenty of action. Carr made two good saves for Ireland before Jip Janssen scored his 50th goal for the Netherlands from a penalty stroke in the 35th minute. Within a minute Lee Cole responded for Ireland with a penalty stroke from a foul that resulted in a Dutch player receiving a 10-minute yellow card. The Netherlands’ problems grew worse when they were reduced to nine men with a green card three minutes later. This prompted the Irish to press hard but they couldn’t convert from two penalty corners, Pirmin Blaak making an excellent save as the quarter came to an end. The Netherlands regained control in the final quarter, Janssen scoring his second from a drag flick after 52 minutes, and Steijn van Heijningen adding one off an unlucky defender a minute later.

The player of the match went to Jip Janssen of the Netherlands who said: “It’s rewarding, I think a good win. The corner is a team game so I think we’re pretty happy with the result of that today, so thanks to my injectors and stoppers for making it easy for me.”

 

(Men’s) India 4 – 1 Spain

India thrilled their home crowd with an excellent 4-1 win over Spain. The teams were equally matched in the opening quarter, India having a slight edge courtesy of a Harmanpreet Singh drag flick in the seventh minute and some excellent work in goal by Parattu Raveendran Sreejesh. The Indians turned up the heat in the second quarter, testing the excellent Luis Calzado in goal repeatedly and winning five penalty corners in just four minutes. Harmanpreet Singh slotted in a penalty stroke in the 20th minute after his drag flick struck the postman on the line, and Jugraj Singh added a drag flick in the 24th minute for a 3-0 Indian lead at half-time.

Spain came back in the third quarter, a strong circle carry from Enrique Gonzales earning a penalty stroke for skipper Marc Miralles to bury in the 34th minute. They went on to dominate the quarter but were denied by an exceptional Indian defence. Spain needed something early in the final quarter and they went after it, but India hit them on the break in the 50th minute, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay lashing in a one-touch reverse shot off a pass that deflected to him in clear space.

The player of the match was India’s Harmanpreet Singh who said: “I think we started very well. This is our first match in this year and I think the way we started, we try to keep the same things that we are doing right now, and try to push our limits more.”

 

Top Scorer Armband

To celebrate the talented goal-scorers throughout the season the FIH has introduced the Top Scorer Armband, which is being worn by the leading goal-scorers in the men’s and women’s competitions in the current season, as a visual mark for the fans, and for the players to wear proudly, match after match.

Current Top Scorers:

Women – Yibbi Jansen (NED) (11 goals)

Men – Jip Janssen (NED) (3 goals)

 

To see the current standings in the FIH Hockey Pro League, click here.

FIH Hockey Pro League – 10 February 2024

Kalinga Hockey Stadium, Bhubaneswar, India (IND)

 

Result: Match 7 (M)

Ireland 1 – 5 Netherlands

Player of the match: Jip Janssen (NED)

Umpires: Raghu Prasad (IND), James Unkles (AUS), Zeke Newman (AUS-video) 

 

Result: Match 8 (M)

India 4 – 1 Spain

Player of the match: Harmanpreet Singh (IND)

Umpires: Rawi Anbananthan (MAS), Zeke Newman (AUS), James Unkles (AUS-video)

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