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Home > Sports > Hockey > Report

Belgium beat India in final hockey Test

January 31, 2008 21:00 IST

Having lost the series 0-3 Belgium had the consolation of beating India 3-2 in the fifth and final match of the hockey Test series at the Mayor Radhakrishnan stadium in Chennai on Thursday night.

The teams shared two goals at the half-time.

Birendra Lakra put India into the lead in the 12th minute while Thomas Birels made it 1-1 ten minutes later.

After Ajitesh Rai's peach of a goal in the 51st minute (2-1), Belgium scored twice through Jerome Dekeyser and Cedric Charlier to clinch victory.

Commenting on the series triumph, an elated National chief coach Joaquim Carvalho said, "Picking the final team for Olympic qualifiers at Chile is definitely going to be a difficult task, as all of them in their own way have displayed their strengths. But performance alone will be the criteria for players to get in to the final team."

"The Test series has proved to be a good base for assessment of our players. Winning the Test series against the Belgium team is one thing and happiness of that victory is another. But I feel the players have to lift their game by a few notches. There were a few mistakes and each of the players has been advised how he can take remedial measures to see that such mistakes do not recur," he added.

The teams drew the first Test 4-4, while India, riding on a hat-trick from Tushar Khandekar, won the second 4-0, and third 3-2. India won the fourth Test 2-1 on Thursday to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.