The Dutch hockey players started the FIH Pro League badly on Saturday. The team of coach Max Caldas lost the first group match of the tournament 5-2 to home-playing India.
The number three in the world was already behind eleven seconds in Bhubaneswar after a hit by Gurjant Singh. Rapinder Pal Singh doubled the lead in the first quarter from a penalty corner.
Through a striking penalty corner from Jip Janssen, the Orange team quickly came back to 2-1, after which Jeroen Hertzberger made it 2-2 at the end of the second quarter. After the break, however, India ran away again.
Via Mandeep Singh and Lalit Upadhyay, India came in 4-2 in the third quarter, after which the world's number five even reached 5-2. Again Rapinder Pal Singh took care of that from a penalty corner. The Orange then played a hopeless game. Both countries meet again on Sunday.
In addition to the Netherlands and India, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand and Spain also participate in the Pro League. All duels are played from January to June. The tournament is in preparation for the Olympic Games.
Last year, the Orange finished third in the first edition of the tournament, which is the successor to the Hockey World League and the Champions Trophy. Australia beat Belgium last year in the final.