The Indian Women's Hockey Team kicked-started their Tokyo 2020 Olympics campaign with a disappointing 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands in Group A at the North Pitch in Oi Hockey stadium Tokyo on Saturday.
India started the first quarter with a lot of intent with the likes of Neha and Monika dominating the midfield and causing problems for the Netherlands. However, the Oranje scored right in the 6th minute as Felice Albers was unmarked on the far post and tapped home the first goal of the game.
The Indian eves hit back in instantaneous fashion as Rani Rampal struck back in the 10th minute with a fierce strike from inside the circle way past the Netherland goalkeeper, Josine Koning. The Netherlands came close to doubling the lead on the cusp of the second quarter before Savita Punia made an exceptional save from a penalty corner.
The Netherlands mounted pressure on the Indian side in the second quarter but a resolute bit of defending saw Rani Rampal's girls managing to hold on to the world no. 1 side to a 1-1 scoreline at the half-time break.
However, after an impressive bit of 30 minutes, India started to lose their way as the Netherlands got back into the lead through Margot van Geffen from a penalty corner in the third minute. The Oranje scored again through Albers who just had to flick it off from inside the Indian circle in the 43rd minute to make it 3-1 for the Dutch. The Indian showed signs of fatigue and lack of defensive cohesion and conceded the fourth goal from a stupendous Frederique Matlaa strike in the 45th minute.
The final quarter was the exact same story as the Dutch continued their dominance, Caia van Maasakker found the right side of the Indian net from yet another penalty corner to make it 5-1. The Indians failed to penetrate into the Dutch box and were eventually outplayed in the second half of the game after a competitive display in the first 30 minutes.
India will now face Germany on Match Day 2 of Pool A on 26th July at the South Pitch.