Rio Olympics 2016: India’s men hockey team lose yet another close shave match against Netherlands: India wasted as many as five penalty corners seconds from the final hooter to go down 1-2 against reigning silver medallist Netherlands and slump to their second defeat in the men’s hockey competition of Rio Olympics on Thursday.

Trailing 1-2 with four minutes left, India withdrew goalkeeper PR Sreejesh for an additional forward and pressed hard for the equaliser. Their efforts bore fruit as India earned their fourth penalty corner six seconds from the hooter after appealing for a video referral. That penalty corner resulted in four more back-to-back short corners but the Indian drag-flick battery of Rupinder Pal Singh, who took four tries, and Raghunath failed to break the Dutch defence led by goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann.


Rogier Hofman’s 32nd minute goal was cancelled out by Indian drag-flicker V.R. Raghunath in the 38th minute. Penalty corner specialist Mink van der Weerden scored the winner for the Dutchmen in the 54th minute.

Despite the loss, India remained in the third spot with six points, while the Netherlands moved to the top spot with 10 points. Two-time defending champions Germany, second in the table with three wins, and the Netherlands are the two teams who have already secured their positions in the quarter-finals.

India will play Canada in their final pool game where even a draw will be enough to take them to the quarter-finals. If they lose against the Canadians, it will boil down to goal differences.

The Indian unit did well to keep Dutch quiet in the first two quarters but the unbeaten unit nosed ahead in the third quarter before scoring the winning goal in the fourth. India fought back with the equaliser in the third, got plenty of chances towards the fag end of the fourth but were not able to find the back of the net with the penalty corners which came their way.