India’s World Cup dream came to a halt after 1-2 loss to the Netherlands, a result which left the young players of the team crying on the pitch in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.
The well-equipped Indian hockey team raised the hopes for making the semi-finals for the first time since 1975 but the world No 4, Netherlands were clearly having the upper hand over the hosts from the very beginning.
Both teams started well in an eventful first quarter which witnessed the Indian lead in the 12th minute by Akashdeep Singh before Thierry Brinkman drew parity for Netherlands 5 seconds before the end of the first quarter.
The second half saw both the teams battling inch-to-inch for the lead even though the Dutch side kept the possession of ball most time, only to return to 1-1 by halftime.
After a hard-fought third quarter, Netherlands successfully converted their fourth PC to make it 2-1.
The defeat marked an end to the long cherished dream of India to lift up the trophy after its lone triumph in 1975 at Kuala Lumpur.