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    Holland cements European dominance as India plunges further- HindiNewsWala


    Antagonistic atmosphere: In the midst of tight security, Indian players, led by skipper Pargat Singh (3), exercise at the National Stadium in Lahore on February 11, 1990.

    Antagonistic atmosphere: In the midst of tight security, Indian players, led by skipper Pargat Singh (3), exercise at the National Stadium in Lahore on February 11, 1990.
    | Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

    1990, Lahore (Feb. 12-23)

    Co-founder Pakistan finally got to host the tournament and deservedly reached the title clash against Holland in a repeat of the 1978 edition, but lost 1-3.

    Holland won its second world title, riding on a brace by Floris Jan Bovelander, in a consolidation of European supremacy. The Indians, having to come through the qualifiers, failed to win a single game and managed just one draw, with the Soviet Union, in the league stage.

    Their only win in the competition was against Canada (2-1) in the classification match before losing 0-1 to Argentina to end up 10th. The security situation and open hostility and heckling by the public made things worse for India.

    Top three: Holland, Pakistan, Australia; India: 10th.

    1994, Sydney (Nov. 23-Dec. 4)

    A third World Cup final between Pakistan and Holland saw Pakistan take the honours on penalties after the score was 1-1 at the end of regulation time. It was the fourth and final title for Pakistan, the only one on artificial turf, making it the most successful team in World Cup history.

    Pakistan finished on top of its group, its only loss coming to Australia before getting past Germany and Holland in the knockout matches, both on penalty strokes. Holland came through undefeated before falling 4-3 in the shootout, previous edition hero Bovelander and current Dutch coach Jeroen Delmee missing the stroke. Pakistan rode on Player-of-the-Tournament Shahbaz Ahmed’s brilliance.

    Losses to Germany (1-2) and Holland (2-4) in the group stage saw India finishing third and out of the semifinals before defeating Argentina and England to finish a respectable fifth — compared to the previous few outings and the best performance for the team since its title triumph in 1975.

    Top three: Pakistan, Holland, Australia; India: Fifth.

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