Bhubaneswar: World No.1 Belgium came-up with dominating efficiency to beat India 3-2 in a high-voltage match right here on the on-going FIH Hockey Professional League on Sunday.
Targets by Alexander Hendrickx (3′), and Maxime Plennevaux (17′ & 26′) that ensured Belgium’s victory whereas objectives by Vivek Sagar Prasad (15′), and Amit Rohidas (17′) saved India within the hunt until the ultimate hooter.
After dropping their first match of the season, world champions Belgium ensured they made a tremendous begin to their marketing campaign.
It was Hendrickx who scored off a penalty nook within the third minute to provide Belgium a 1-Zero lead and push India on the backfoot early within the recreation. However seconds earlier than the primary hooter, younger gun Prasad equalised after India defender Surender Kumar arrange this important aim, tackling previous two Belgians defenders to drive in from the left flank to help Prasad positioned in entrance of the aim mouth.
Each groups upped the ante within the second quarter, rallying with velocity and tactical play to make fast circle penetrations. Minutes into the quarter, skilled Arthur van Doren arrange the assault discovering Simon Gougnard within the circle who assisted Plennevaux to attain Belgium’s second aim.
Hardly shaken up by Belgian’s assault, 15 seconds into conceding the second aim, Lalit Upadhyay displayed wonderful tackling abilities to create India’s first PC. Although Harmanpreet Singh’s dragflick bounced off Belgian defender, Rohidas succeeded on selecting up the rebound to attain the aim and stage scores 2-2. However a callous error whereas passing noticed Harmanpreet give away possession within the 26th minute that enabled Plennevaux rating Belgium’s third aim.
Although behind by a aim at half time, the 11 circle entries and 6 photographs on aim India had made saved them within the recreation and as Chief Coach Graham Reid identified, they needed to present higher ball possession within the second half to seek out success.
However Belgian assault continued to be ruthless as they crusaded into India’s circle. P.R. Sreejesh, nonetheless, continued to stay the cynosure of India’s defence, stepping up for the staff every time Belgium made potential try on aim. He made as many as 4 necessary saves that saved India within the recreation going into the ultimate quarter.
Having tousled a PC alternative within the third quarter, India made a number of makes an attempt on aim within the closing 15 minutes. They recorded 28 circle entries and 11 photographs on aim on the finish of the sport whereas Belgium made 19 entries with 9 photographs on aim.
Nevertheless it was Belgium who had higher ball possession with 52 p.c versus India’s 48 per cent that finally noticed them romp dwelling with successful factors. India will subsequent tackle Australia on February 21 and 22 on the Kalinga Hockey Stadium.