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India in Champions trophy final after an epic draw (6/30/2018)
--s2h Team
India and Netherlands dished out an exciting, edge of the seat encounter today at Breda, which ended in a 1-1 draw that favoured India to savour the Champions Trophy final. This solitary point was what India needed to edge Netherlands to enter the second successive Champions Trophy final, which it did. With two wins and two draws including today's, India came behind Australia in the pool table to again lock horns in the final much like two years ago in London.

But the goings were not smooth for India today.

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The last six minutes in particular turned out to be a thriller what with the hosts unrelenting in attacks and the Indians showing extraordinary defense skills.

Thiery Brinkmaan struck a goal six minutes before the hooter to level Mandeep Singh's early goal. The move orginated in the rival circle when Mandeep Singh hurried a stop of a minus from speeding Sunil on the top of circle.

And then just 89 seconds left in the clock, Joren Hertzberger struck one and fell on the ground on excitement leaving his team mates to celebrate.

Neither did have have referral nor time to strike again.

However, Lady Luck smiled on them when the officiating umpire from New Zealand used his self referral provision to find out whether 5-yard rule was followed by the Dutch player before the ball entered the circle. The Kiwi umpire's doubt proved correct. Video umpire ruled out the goal instead gave free hit, much to the chagrin of the full home crowd.

The rule is complex and confusing to many

Netherlanders may have been disappointed but did not give up the fight. They forced three penalty corners: one in 77nd second, other in the 70th and the third in 60th second before the hooter. India somehow managed to wriggle out the tight situation to come out with the desired draw. Sreejesh and Surender Kumar playing vital role in keeping the Indian citadel in tact.

It was a great team effort that carried India through today.

India and Netherlands, despite creating numerous chances to score, could not move the scoreboard till half time.

India had two early penalty corners in the first quarter, like Netherlands had in the wee hours of second quarter, but the defence of both sides were so tight that almost goal situations are a galore.

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Mandeep Singh may be the best forwards available in the contemporary Indian scene, but he is the culprit for long time in India's quest for a win. He first frustrated hardworking and agile Dilpreet Singh when he failed to trap an excellent pass near goal mouth. At the 40 th minute, SV Sunil was in the Dilpreet's melancholic mood. After evading all the markers, Sunil sprinted from his flank to selflessly pass to Mandeep in the centre of the circle only see him fumble.

What looked like a sitter was made mess when Mandeep fumbled before effecting a meek pass to the charged goalkeer who left his usual cage position and was stranded midway in the circle.

However, Mandeep made amends in the first minute of fourth quarter. It was India's third penalty corner, Varun effected his trademark flick, which got bounced off the goalkeeper. Mandeep Singh now did not waste a second before hit the ball straight into the gave above the head of falled goalie. (1-0).

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