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FIH Pro League: Team India could not bear the retaliation of Olympic champion Belgium, took revenge for the defeat


Antwerp: Two goals from Alexander Hendrix helped Belgium (IND vs BEL) men’s team register a thrilling 3-2 win over India in the second leg of the two-leg FIH Pro League hockey tournament on Sunday. Hendrix (49th and 59th) scored two goals in the fourth quarter before Nicolas de Kerpel scored his team’s first goal in the 33rd minute.

The Olympic champions had suffered a 4-5 loss in a penalty shootout in the first leg of the match. In this match, the team was trailing 0-1 till half time but they came back to register a resounding victory. For India, Abhishek (25th minute) scored the first goal of the match while Mandeep Singh (60th) scored another goal just moments before the hooter. With this win, world champions Belgium moved up to second place in the points table, while India are at third place. The Indian team will now face the Netherlands next week.

Belgium started the game with better control of the ball and soon earned their first penalty corner of the match. Legendary goalkeeper Sreejesh defended it brilliantly with his foot. India had a chance to take the lead in the fifth minute. Jarmanpreet’s cross from the right side is played by Sukhjeet over the goal post. In the final moments of the first quarter, Jugraj created a brilliant opportunity from the center of the field but the Belgian defense showed excellent coordination and defended.

Jarmanpreet scored a penalty corner in the second quarter after five minutes of play but Harmanpreet’s shot was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper V Vansh. In the 25th minute of the match, a brilliant combination from Gurjant Asair Vivek Sagar Prasad, Abhishek gave India the lead by scoring a field goal. Belgium made a strong comeback in search of an equalizer but Sreejesh’s brilliant defense led the Indian team 1-0 at half time.

At the beginning of the second half, Belgium took advantage of the split in the Indian defense line. In the 33rd minute of the match, a goal from De Korpel leveled the score at 1-1. Akashdeep was shown the green card in the third quarter, leaving India to play with 10 players. Surendra Kumar’s mistake in the last quarter gave Belgium a penalty corner and Hendrix converted it into a goal to give the home team the lead.

Four minutes later, India also got a penalty corner but the team failed to equalize the score. Belgium scored another penalty corner in the 59th minute of the match and Hendrix scored another goal to put the team 3-1 ahead. In the last minute of the match, Mandeep narrowed the gap by scoring a six to the opposing goalkeeper. A few seconds before the hooter was fired, Vivek created another brilliant opportunity but his shot went past the goal post.



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