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Belgium rally to hold India in first Test
January 25, 2008 21:20 IST
India held the upper hand but squandered a 3-0 first-half lead and ended up with a 4-4 draw against Belgium in the first Test of the five-match series between the countries, at the Mayor Radhakrishnan stadium in Chennai on Friday night.
Raghunath (23rd and 44th minute), Tushar Khandekar (16th), Shivender Singh (20th) scored for India, while Jerome Dekeyser (42nd and 64th), John Dohmen (59th) and Thomas Briels (49th) accounted for Belgium's goals.
The teams shared six penalty-corners.
Perhaps, the Indians grew complacent after their first-half dominance and were taken by surprise when the Belgians banged in two goals inside seven minutes.
The Indian domination was well pronounced, though the hosts assessed their opponents in the first ten minutes.
The Belgians concentrated more on defending their citadel and did not have a single goal-worthy move in the first half.
Belgian Coach Adam Commens's decision to start without his most experienced defender, Thierry Ranaer, who has played in over 300 internationals, proved costly as India were able to split the defence and score thrice.
Jerome Dekeyser, Loic Van Deweghe and John Dohmen were not effective and most often wilted under pressure.
But the visitors came back in the second half strongly to split the Indian defence and score four goals and finish with an honourable draw.