In a fierce draw, hosts Belgium beat the Indian men’s hockey team 3-2 in the second leg of their double-header at the FIH Pro League in Antwerp on Sunday. It was Abhishek (25) who scored the first goal of the match, while Mandeep Singh (60′) scored a late goal for India. Nicolas de Kerpel (33′) and Alexander Hendrix (49′, 59) were the goal scorers for the hosts. Belgium has pushed with this victory India The pool is ranked third in the standings while the Netherlands top the table in this season’s prestigious FIH Pro League.
It was a somewhat gritty performance from the Indian men’s team, but they fell short against Belgium!
Cheer up, team
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) 12 June 2022
It was hosts Belgium who got off to a flying start showing their will to bounce back after losing 4-5 to India in a tense shootout on Saturday. After a few attempts, Belgium got an early chance through PC in the 7th minute, but poor turnaround denied them the lead. Three minutes later, Jarmanpreet’s assist to Sukhjit Singh at the top of the circle gave India a great chance to take the lead, but Sukhjit’s shot went over the goalpost. Both the teams played the next few minutes with caution, moving the ball cleverly to make room but neither team managed to score.
Showing patience in their game, India finally broke the deadlock in the 25th minute when Gurjant combined with Lalit Upadhyay scored a brilliant goal by Abhishek. Leading 1-0 at half-time, India crashed out of the ten-minute half-time break to extend their lead.
Harmanpreet Singh created one such opportunity when he helped veteran forward Akashdeep Singh in the third quarter with a superb long pass of just one and a half minutes. Positioned at the top of the circle, Akashdeep took a strong shot on goal, but it went straight to Belgian goalkeeper Vincent Vanash, who brushed the ball away. Moments later, Belgium scored a brilliant goal in the 33rd minute, when a fine interception eluded India, setting up a brilliant run in the circle, where Arthur de Slover scored for Nicolas de Kerpel to score. installed. Karpeles the ball past India’s watchful custodian Sreejesh into the right corner of the post. The goal gave the hosts a much-needed equalizer as they created many more opportunities on this attack in the next minutes.
The hosts managed to extend their lead when they were awarded PC after a foot foul by the Indian defenders inside their circle. Alexander Hendricks was firing on the ball of India’s PC Defence.
With only five minutes left for the final hooter, India got a good opportunity when they won a PC after a good video referral call. But dragflick specialist Harmanpreet’s goal of reaching the top was pushed back by experienced Belgian goalkeeper Vanash. Just minutes before the final hooter, Belgium put India under pressure when they entered the striking circle. It was then that a desperate body tackle by Sreejesh saw India concede a penalty stroke which was easily converted by Hendricks.
However, India bounced back in the last seconds, with Manpreet Singh setting up the second goal for India when he assisted Vivek Sagar in the circle. A quick-tempered Vivek pushed the ball towards Mandeep Singh, who cut the ball past the Belgian keeper to reduce the lead to 2-3. But unfortunately, with only 30 seconds remaining, India’s spectacular fight ended in despair.