On Saturday, the Indian women’s hockey lost their opening pool match 1-5 at the Tokyo Olympics after mounting a valiant fight in the first two-quarters of their match against world no. 1 Netherlands.
It was Felice Albers who gave the Netherlands the lead in the sixth minute, but it was India’s skipper Rani Rampal who levelled things up in the 10th minute. After a brave defensive performance during the opening two quarters, the Indians entered the half locked at 1-1, but the break seemed to have broken their steady momentum, as the Dutch came out strong following the change of ends and scored three goals to nip any chance of an upset as well.
After the resumption, Margot van Geffen (33rd minute) gave the Netherlands a lead they had been desperate to preserve. Immediately following the third goal, the three-time Olympic champions and silver medalists scored two in quick succession through Albers (43rd minute) and Frederique Matla (45th minute) to take control of the game. Even worse, there was more trouble in store for the Indians as the sixth penalty corner goal was slammed home by Caia Jacqueline van Maasakker in the 52nd minute.
The next match for India in Pool A will take place on July 26 against Germany.