A fighting Indian Junior Women’s hockey team went down to the Netherlands 3-0 in the semi-finals of the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup, here on Sunday.
The Netherlands scored through Tessa Beetsma (12th min), Luna Fokke (53rd min) and Jip Dicke (54th min) to book their berth in the final and set themselves up for a shot at winning their third title.
India had made a good start and had early possession but they could not score any goal.
For India, Mumtaz Khan’s early shot on goal gave a positive start in the last-four encounter.
The forward has been quite impressive in the tournament so far, however, she could not find the right deflection as her shot hit the crossbar, denying India an early lead.
Meanwhile, the Dutch came up with a brilliant 18-pass goal that was patiently executed, beating the Indian defence to the goal. It was the Player of the Match Tessa Beetsma, who opened the scoring for the Dutch with a fine goal in the 12th minute.
A few minutes later, the Netherlands nearly doubled the lead but the goal was disallowed by the umpire as the shot had come off the attacker’s back stick.
Though India showed their abilities with attack, creating eight circle penetrations at half-time, with five shots on goal which included a couple of penalty corners, they were unable to find success. The score at half-time was 1-0 in the Netherlands’ favour.
With the match being evenly played by both teams, the Dutch returned after the break with an improvised attack that proved tough to beat for India. While they pushed for goals in the first few minutes of the third quarter, India lived up to the challenge with goalie Bichu Devi coming up with some fine saves.
The Indian team Captain Salima Tete who tried to dominate the midfield but India’s attack was outnumbered by the Dutch defenders, and they denied India every opportunity to take successful shots on goal.
With the match going into the deciding quarter, India still had their hopes of making it 1-1. But the Dutch went into top gear to finish the match with two more goals.
Luna Fokke and Jip Dicke scored back-to-back goals in the 53rd and 54th minute that ensured they snatched the match from India and marched into the final.
The Netherlands next play the winner of the match between GErmany and England with India taking on the loser to settle for the bronze medal.
India junior women had won their maiden bronze medal in the 2013 edition.