After facing defeat at the hands of India at International Hockey Federation (FIH) Hockey Pro League match, Netherlands coach Maximiliano Caldas praised the opponents and said that they played much better and deserved to win the match. India trounced the Netherlands 5-2 in their debut FIH Hockey Pro League game at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium.
"In the third quarter, I think we were not taking the ball as much we like to do and the game became like a tennis game. I think that suits the Indian style very well. They deserved to win today. They played much better than we did. Yes disappointed on one side but it is our first game and it is going to be okay," Maximiliano Caldas said at a press conference.
Further, Caldas said that the Netherlands team played really well in the first quarter and dominated the game and held the ball for a longer period of time. "We played really good quarter-and-a-half. When we came two down until the break we dominated the game. We play like we wanted to play, we held the ball for long periods," he said.
Netherlands skipper Billy Bakker said that the team did have possession and failed to control the ball hence host the match. "If the team wanted to win, they need to control the ball and have better possession. We need to control the ball. India deserves to win this game," he said.
Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, and Lalit Upadhyay scored one goal each for India while drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh netted a brace for the team. Lalit was awarded the player of the match for his stunning performance in the game. India will again take on the Netherlands in Bhubaneshwar on January 19.
(with ANI inputs)
(image credits: ANI)