Here is the story of India’s debut in the FIH Pro League: Gurjant Singh scored within the first 30 seconds of the match to give India the lead and Rupinder Pal Singh added the second in the 11th minute before Jip Janssen halved the deficit in the 13th minute to bring the Netherlands into the mix. If the first quarter mostly belonged to India, the second belonged completely to the Netherlands with India hardly able to create anything of note. Jeroen Hertzberger scored a brilliant tap in in the 28th minute to level the proceedings at the Kalinga Stadium. Mandeep Singh scored for India early in the third quarter before Lalit Upadhyay added the fourth to restore India’s two-goal cushion. Rupinder scored his second in the final quarter to seal the match for the home team.
“I want to say thank you to the crowd who came to cheer. There was some good work done by the forward lines. We have been doing a lot of hard work in the training sessions, so all credit goes to my team-mates and the coaches,” Lalit Upadhyay said. Reflecting on his team’s defeat, Netherlands captain Billy Bakker said: “I think we have to focus on our own game. We played one quarter from the four quarters pretty good, the other three we didn’t get the level that we wanted to get. With a team like India, it’s really tough to win here, so I think they deserved it today.”