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Netherlands run close by India

[img_assist|nid=4576|title=Goalscorer|desc=Roderick Weusthof – hockeyimages.co.uk|link=node|align=right|width=220|height=146]LONDON, 30 July – Netherlands survived a scare in their opening London 2012 pool match to beat India 3-2 at the Riverbank Arena on Monday,

The opening minutes of the match were frenetic but evenly-matched. 

Teun de Nooijer (NED), playing in a record-equalling fifth Olympic Games, was twice denied by India goalkeeper Bharat Chetri in the space of three minutes, once from a powerful volley which went just wide of the left post off Chetri’s pad, the second a close-range deflection.

Netherlands’ pressure was rewarded in the 20th minute with a moment of individual brilliance from Robert van der HorstT. His burst from midfield eliminated two India players, and gave him a clean strike from the top of the circle to make it 1-0.

India continued to push forward and went close when Tushar Khandker played the ball across the face of the goal but SV Sunil couldn’t get the final touch.

In the 29th minute Netherlands doubled their lead with a Roderick Weusthof penalty corner.

At the start of the second half, Netherlands had lots of possession and attacked India’s 23. Rogier Hofman had an opportunity to extend their lead but was denied by Chetri.

India used the team referral well in the 43rd minute, denying Netherlands a penalty corner. The umpire had blown for feet against India in their circle, but the ball hit the defender’s stick handle, not his foot.

India scored their first goal in the 45th minute, a loose ball rebounding off Jaap Stockmann’s left post and falling to Dharamvir SINGH who pushed into the open goal.

With the momentum in India’s favour, they equalised through Shivendra SINGH, finishing after neat work down the right from Gurwinder Singh Chandi.

Netherlands went ahead again three minutes later, Minke van der Weerden scoring a trademark penalty corner flick into the top corner.

With four minutes to go, Chetri superbly denied Bob de Voogd a fourth goal for Netherlands, blocking a fierce reverse strike.

India pressured Netherlands’ circle in the final minutes and had a referral for a penalty corner rejected by the video umpire, leaving Netherlands to claim a 3-2 victory.

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