January 27, 2024

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Dutch thrash India 7-2 in Hockey5s Women’s World Cup final | Hockey News

3 min read

Netherlands’ domination of women’s hockey is the stuff of legends. They are 9-time champions of the senior World Cup and five-time winners of the junior event, currently holding both titles along with the Pro League. They are also the reigning Olympic champions. So it should come as no surprise that a new international hockey world event would see the Dutch emerge as the first-time gold medallists.

India were at the receiving end of the relentless Orange machine on Saturday as the powerhouses clinched the inaugural FIH Hockey5s Women’s World Cup 2024 in Muscat, Oman. The World No.1 of the traditional 11-a-side format steamrolled India in a brutal first-half display before taking the foot off the pedal in the second half to eventually win the title clash 7-2.

Hockey5s, played 5-a-side on a shorter playing area, features near non-stop action as the ball is in play constantly due to rebound-boards replacing the sidelines and bylines in traditional field hockey.

The Dutch, who are known for their pace of play and passing accuracy, made the most of this to stun the Indians in a ruthless first half where they scored 6 unanswered goals. Goalkeeper and captain Rajani Etimarpu actually started the match well with a sharp save and India nearly took the lead at the other end. But after that brief period of hope, India’s chances were snuffed out quickly.

Tournament of comebacks

India’s path to the final was one of comebacks and second half scoring sprees. Against USA in the group stage, they came back from 0-2 to win 7-3. In the quarterfinal against New Zealand, they conceded the first goal and then scored 11 without a response. The semifinal saw South Africa lead twice in the first half, but India hit back on both occasions and then went on to win 7-3.

But a 0-6 deficit was too much to overcome. To their credit, India once again had a good second half.

By a combination of the Dutch taking the foot off the pedal and India improving their passing accuracy, the women in blue shaded the second period 2-1 with Rutaja Pisal and Jyoti Chhatri on the scoresheet but the damage was done early. It was, however, a good outing overall for Rajani’s side who clinch the first silver.

Festive offer

The men’s Hockey 5s World Cup follows in Muscat, starting from Sunday. India, to be led by Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Simranjeet Singh, are grouped in Pool B alongside Egypt, Jamaica, and Switzerland.

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