Hockey World Cup 2018: Netherlands extend India’s wait for 2nd World Cup
Hockey World Cup 2018, If there was a legal betting system in place for India, Ewout Pahud de Mortanges, a Dutch hockey coach who was part of the orange minority at the Kalinga Stadium, would have made a billion bucks. Before the start of India vs Netherlands, arguably the toughest match to call in the tournament, the 27-year-old went with a 2-1 win for his team.
When the final whistle blew marking the end of the quarter-final fixture, the Dutchman’s prophecy came true. In the process, he also ended up predicting an end to India’s journey at the 2018 Hockey World Cup.
A crowd of 15,000, including the aforementioned orange minority, had crowded in the stadium for the match and most of them may have walked back dismayed and disappointed but that was only after they witnessed a truly fierce contest between the two teams. India coach Harendra Singh started off the post-match presentation with an apology – “I apologise to the public I could not do what all of them had their hearts set on,” he said.
So, what went wrong in the match? The first two quarters were brilliant for India as they pressed forward in the Dutch half. With less than five minutes to go in the first quarter, Simranjeet Singh got a shot away from the counterattack, only to be blocked by the Dutch defender. A minute later, India received a penalty corner from which they converted – courtesy Akashdeep Singh. The goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak blocked it but it was pushed back to Akashdeep who calmly used his left hand to put it behind the back of the net, while the Dutch defence allowed him a free shot.