India beat Belgium in Four Nations Hockey Tourney
HAMILTON: India avenged the Four Nations Invitational tournament’s first leg final loss against Belgium by beating the Olympic silver medalists 5-4 in their second outing of the second leg at the Gallagher Hockey Stadium here on Thursday. India had earlier lost 1–2 to Belgium in the final of the first leg but held their nerve till the final hooter to come up with a winner in this high octane match.Rupinder Pal Singh (4’, 42”), Harmanpreet Singh (46”), Lalit Upadhyay (53) and Dilpreet Singh (59′) scored for India, while John-John Dohmen (17°), Felix Denayer (37’’), Alexander Hendrickx (45) and Tom Boon (56) scored for Belgium. India’s ploy to play two-touch hockey by rotating the ball swiftly paid off as early as the fourth minute when Vivek Sagar Prasad made a quick penetration from the left flank forcinga Belgian defender to foul which resulted in the first penalty corner (PC) of the match. In-form Rupider improvised on Lalit Upadhyay’s injection to fiercely put the ball into the top net giving India the early 1-0 lead.But the world-class Belgian side came back into the second quarter with potent attack that put pressure on the Indian defence. A top of the circle penetration by John-John Dohmen caught defender Varun Kumar off-guard, as he positioned himself comfortably to take a successful reverse hit levelling the Score 1-1. A PC won by Belgium in the 24th minute saw dangerous Tom Boon take the flick but was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh who plunged to his left to snuff it away. With seconds remaining for the second hooter, India won a PC but Rupinder’s flick this time went wide ending the second quarter in a stalemate.
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