India-Holland split points after playing a 4-4 draw

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> India and Holland played out a pulsating 4-4 draw in the Punjab Gold Cup hockey tournament on Sunday.

Updated: February 01, 2009 17:33 IST
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In a hard fought match, which saw fortunes fluctuating from one to other side, India and Holland played out a pulsating 4-4 draw in the Punjab Gold Cup hockey tournament on Sunday.

Trailing 0-2 at one stage, Indians fought back strongly and made amends for their early defence lapses.

However, India let go a crucial chance when skipper Sandeep Singh failed to score from a penalty stroke.

Rob Reckers (16) and of Laurence Docherty (26th) had given their team a healthy 2-0 lead but Indians struck three goals in a row to erase the deficit and shot into the lead.

Shivender Singh, who was declared man-of-the-match for scoring two goals, finished off a nice counter-attack with a superb goal, reducing the margin to 1-2 in the 29th minute.

Launching another attack, striker Prabhjot Singh deflected a nice pass from skipper Sandeep into the goal equalising the scores in the 31st minute.

Prabhjot, elated at getting the equaliser, took off his shirt and waved it before the home crowds, which had turned out in good number to watch the contest.

With three minutes to go for the first half, Shivender was in thick of the action again hitting a diving reverse flick, penetrating the Dutch defence to take his team 3-2 up. Dutch skipper Timme Hoyng scored the third goal for his team in the 48th minute scooping one over the goalkeeper's head.

Making full use of an error in the opposition defence in the 61st minute and with Dutch goalkeeper Mark Jenniskens a few steps outside the goal post, V Sunil struck for the hosts giving them 4-3 lead.

Skipper Sandeep Singh squandered a sure opportunity to increase the lead when his team was awarded penalty stroke by German umpire Fabian Blasch.

The stroke was awarded when Shivender, who was trying to hit the ball into the goal from a good pass given to him from Arjun Hallapa, was obstructed by a Dutch defender. Sandeep, though, could not convert the chance and hit the ball wide.

Towards the end of the second half, Holland leveled the scores when Geert Jan Derikx hit from a rebound when the Dutch were awarded a penalty corner.

Holland, who had defeated world champions Germany 2-0 in their first match here yesterday, played attacking game right from the start.

They got rewarded immediately when Rob Reckers finished a good move by hitting a reverse flick. The visitors got another opportunity to increase the lead when they were awarded their first penalty corner.

However, as the ball got deflected from defender Vikram Pilla's stick on to his foot near the goal line, the umpire awarded a penalty stroke to the European Champions.

Laurence converted the chance without any fuss as he scooped the ball over goalkeeper Baljit Singh's head who had no clue and dived towards his right in vain.

India, who had defeated New Zealand yesterday in their first match, and Holland got one point each for the draw result.

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