Breda, Netherlands | July 22, 2015 :: Aiming at adding another victory in their kitty, the India U-21 Men team showcased brilliant defensive skills against The Netherlands U-21 team, stopping them from scoring easy goals against them. After a closely-fought battle, India conceded an unfortunate goal through a Penalty Stroke, which cost them the match by 1-2. However, what came out clearly was the spectacular display of goal-keeping skills by Suraj Karkera as he thwarted all penalty corner opportunities from the opponent during the entire match.
Both the teams stepped-on the green astro-turf with high-energy and aggressive attitude and intent to win. The Host team, utilising their favourable atmosphere, made early moves into India’s circle and earned penalty corners, which were foiled by the Indian defence, lead by Vice-Captain Dipsan Tirkey and Harmanpreet Singh. In the 18th minute, the Dutch colts were awarded a Penalty Stroke, which was perfectly converted by Bram van Groesen into the first goal of the match. After conceding the unfortunate goal, the Indians fought back with more zeal and attacked from all sides. However, they faced the stiff defence of the home side and they could not materialise on the opportunities. Post a close battle, the first-half finished at 1-0 score-line in favour of The Netherlands.
Second half started with more passion and better strategies to score goals. The Indian colts were desperately looking for a goal to level the score-card whereas The Netherlands team looked at doubling its lead. The Indian attacks, led by Simranjeet Singh, Armaan Qureshi and skipper Harjeet Singh, managed to push the Dutch players in their half with their continuous charging. In the 57th minute, the host team counter-attacked with their fast-paced moves and this time again Bram van Groesen sent the ball in the Indian goal-box for the second goal. However, their joy was short-lived as Indian forward Armaan charged back with his speedy run and hit the ball hard into nets to reduce the margin by 1-2 in the 59th minute.
With the motivating goal, the Indian colts attacked with more aggression and fought for an equaliser. In the dying minutes, both the teams managed to earn penalty corners but they failed to materialise in goals and eventually the match finished at 2-1 in favour of The Netherlands.
India U-21 team will now clash against England U-21 team in their fifth league match on 24th July 2015 at 20:30 IST at Breda, The Netherlands.