India lose to Belgium in final of four-nation hockey tourney
HAMILTON:India Suffered a heartbreaking loss to Belgium via penalty shootout after holding the World No. 3 side to 4-4 in regulation time in the final of the Four-Nations Invitational Tournament’s second leg here. It was Felix Denayer, Sebastien Dockier and Arthur van Doren who scored for Belgium in the shootout. Tanguy Cosyns (41), Cedric Charlier (43), Amaury Keusters (51) and Felix Denayer (56) scored during regulation time. For India, Ramandeep Singh (29’’, 53”), Nilakanta Sharma (42′) and Mandeep Singh (49) were the goalscorers before the shootout. Earlier in the day, Japan beat hosts New Zealand 4-1 in the shootout for bronze after holding the Black Sticks to 1-1 in regulation time.The final between India and Belgium was yet another goal-fest with both teamstesting each other hooter-to-hooter. It was a steady start for India as they were made to work hard to keep the ball.The Belgian attack meanwhile kept Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh busy through the first quarter with as many as three PCs including a penalty stroke. Their first PC coming in the 8th minute but Sreejesh was up to the task, lunging to his right to save. With 52 seconds for the first hooter, Belgium won two more PCs which were brilliantly saved by the Indian goalkeeper but it was the penalty stroke taken by the ever-dangerous Loick Luypaert that Sreejesh saved which enthralled the evening audience in Hamilton. India won two back-to-back PCs at the start of the second quarter but couldn’t make much of it before finally taking the lead, thanks to clever some work by Mandeep Singh in finding Ramandeep Singh at the top of the circle. Ramandeep had the time to control the ball and take a sure shot into the goal. The action intensified in the third quarter with Belgium upping their attack, winning an equalizer in the 41st minute through Tanguy Cosyns’s well executed PC.
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