Scotland went down 3-0 to the Netherlands, 19 places above them in the international rankings, in their second pool match at the World League semi-final in London. But crucially the scoreline means Derek Forsyth’s charges are still above bottom side Pakistan on goal difference.
The Dutch started with confidence and Tim Atkins had to look lively to ward off the danger. But it was Scotland who grabbed the opening penalty corner, though Willie Marshall’s low drag flick evaded the outstretched sticks of Nicky Parkes and Kenny Bain leaving the goalkeeper with a simple save. Towards the end of the first quarter Lee Morton drove into the Dutch circle only to be crowded out but, just after, Robbert Kempermann put the world number fours in front.
There was a notable increase in Dutch pressure in the second quarter, Mink van der Weerden had his set-piece effort brilliantly saved by Tommy Alexander while a Jonas de Geus scoop fortunately sailed just over. The Scots almost levelled, Bain firing the ball across the goalkeeper but Wei Adams just failing to get a connection.
At the start of the second half Mink van der Weerden sent his first penalty corner wide, but minutes later the Dutch set-piece expert picked his spot to double his side’s tally.
The Scots retaliated. A dangerous pass from Gavin Byers was cut out as it headed for Bain, then the HGC striker had the ball touched away from him as he dived to push the ball home. Bain, who was now causing the Dutch problems, put Alan Forsyth through but the Surbiton player failed to control the bobbling ball.
Six minutes into the final quarter the Dutch added a third through Valentine Verga. The Scots defence consolidated to prevent any further goals, although Alexander had to make another top save in the process.
In the other pool match India saw off Canada 3-0 to share top spot with the Netherlands.
Although the Scots are still pointless after two games they have played the top seeds.
Now Scotland coach Forsyth is planning to take points off Pakistan tomorrow and Canada the following day to pursue his drive for a place in the World Cup finals next year.