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Hockey: India men beat hosts Belgium 2-1; Women draw with Britain

Last updated on: October 01, 2019 22:41 IST

Indis's Simranjeet Singh (right) who scored the 2nd goal for India, vies with a Belgian player during their match in Antwerp, Belgium, on Tuesday

IMAGE: Indis's Simranjeet Singh (right) who scored the 2nd goal for India, vies with a Belgian player during their match in Antwerp, Belgium, on Tuesday. Photograph: Hockey India/Twitter

The Indian men's hockey team eked out a 2-1 win over reigning World and European champions Belgium to register their fourth consecutive win of the tour in Antwerp, Belgium, on Tuesday.

Amit Rohidas (10th minute) and Simranjeet Singh (52nd) scored for India. Belgium's lone goal came from the stick of captain Felix Denayer in the 33rd minute.

 

Riding high on confidence after their 5-1 win over Spain in the third match of the Tour of Belgium, the Indian men's hockey team started on an attacking note against the hosts and earned a penalty corner in the 10th minute, which was duly converted by Rohidas to give his side the lead.

World No. 2 Belgium, however, did not sit back and tried to counter the Indian attacks.

But some last-ditch defending from the Indians coupled with some fine saves by experienced goalkeeper P R Sreejesh helped the visitors go into the first quarter break with a one goal lead.

The second 15 minutes had a similar story as the visiting team enjoyed possession in the opening few minutes, creating a few chances but the quarter ended with the hosts putting intense pressure on their opponents.

With five minutes to go for half-time, Belgium earned their first penalty corner of the match, but Indian custodian Krishan B Pathak, who replaced Sreejesh for the second quarter, made an outstanding save to deny the world champions from levelling the scores.

World No 5  India, thus, managed to maintain their one goal lead at the halfway break.  

Belgium showed their quality in the opening minutes of the third quarter as they secured another penalty corner in the 33rd minute and Denayer scored with a stunning drag-flick to level the scores.

Thereafter, both teams seemed focused on not giving away possession cheaply as the third quarter ended on level terms.

Belgium made a fast start in the final quarter and won a couple of penalty corners in quick succession but Pathak was up to the task again as he made some crucial diving saves to deny the hosts.

India, on the other hand, were happy to sit back and wait for their opportunity.

India's tactic bore fruit in the 52nd minute when they scored a well-constructed team goal in the 52nd minute through Simranjeet.

Down by a goal, Belgium attacked in numbers in the dying stages of the match and in the process earned another penalty corner, but the Indians came up with some resolute defending to secure their fourth consecutive win of the tour.

The Indian men's hockey team will again face Belgium on Thursday.

Indian women play out goalless draw against Great Britain

The Indian women's hockey team played out a goalless draw against Great Britain in the third match of their Tour of England in Marlow , England, on Tuesday.

India and Great Britain began the first quarter on a cautious note.

The visitors tried to make a few inroads as the match progressed, but they couldn't find an opening.

The defensive units of both the sides held fort as none of the teams could break the deadlock.

The Indian team made an aggressive move towards the end of the quarter and earned a penalty corner, but the Great Britain defence managed to keep India at bay.

India rode on the momentum and continued playing aggressively at the start of the second quarter.

The visitors were awarded another penalty corner in the 20th minute, which was again blocked out by Great Britain defence.

Forwards from both the sides continued to look for the opening goal, but couldn't find the back of the net as the deadlock continued at the halfway stage.

India continued in the same vein in the third quarter and earned their third penalty corner but once again they failed to utilise the chance.

Great Britain were awarded their first penalty corner in the 35th minute from a  counter attack but Indian goalkeeper Savita stood up to the test.

India made another aggressive move soon after and won their fourth penalty corner three minutes later but they failed to hit the target yet again.

The same story continued in the fourth quarter with the both sides trying their best, but to no avail.

India made a few smart moves, but Great Britain always found a way to keep the ball away from their goal.

India had a brilliant chance to seal the match when they won a penalty corner in the dying minutes of the match, but once again Great Britain defence stood firm to thwart the danger.

The Indian Women's Hockey Team will play Great Britain in their fourth match of the Tour on Wednesday, 2nd October 2019 at 2000hrs IST.

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