Home team India marked their first appearance in the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Pro League in ideal fashion, as they got the 2020 competition underway with a 5-2 victory over The Netherlands.
The hosts, seeded fifth, required just 28 seconds to open the scoring at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar against the third-ranked Dutch, as Gurjant Singh fired home in economical fashion after a neat exchange of passes with Mandeep Singh, FIH reports.
The advantage was doubled in the 12th minute thanks to Rupinder Singh's deflected penalty corner drag-flick, before Jip Janssen halved the deficit with a penalty corner of his own as the end of the first quarter approached.
The Netherlands dominated the second quarter and pulled level through Jeroen Hertzberger's close-range finish, but after halftime it was all India, with Mandeep Singh and Lalit Upadhyay moving the score to 4-2 before Rupinder Singh netted again early in the fourth quarter.
Upadhyay, who was named Player of the Match, commented: "I want to say thank you to the crowd who came to cheer.
"We have been doing a lot of hard work in the training sessions, so all credit goes to my team mates and the coaches."
Reflecting on his team's defeat, Netherlands captain Billy Bakker said: "We played one quarter from the four quarters pretty good, the other three we didn't get the level that we wanted to get.
"With a team like India, it's really tough to win here, so I think they deserved it today."
The two teams will return to the venue tomorrow for match two of their weekend double-header.
This is the second season for the Men's FIH Pro League event.
The tournament that started today is set to finish in June, involving nine nations in a round-robin competition involving nine nations.
In order of seeding they are Australia, Belgium, The Netherlands, Argentina, India, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and New Zealand.