India Men Claw Back to Snatch Bonus Point Against Belgium
It wasn’t exacting sweet revenge for the Indian men’s hockey team to pull off a 5-4 shootout win in the FIH Pro League against Belgium. But it was some solace nonetheless for the Graham Reid-coached Indian outfit as it probably helped them wipe off bitter memories of losing 2-5 to the Red Lions in the semifinals of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Playing Belgium in their own backyard is never easy and Michael Van Den Heuvel-coached Olympic and world champion side were always going to be favourties going into the contest. However, India appeared to scupper their plans when Shamsher Singh drew first blood in a goalmouth scramble.
Spurred on by a boisterous home crowd, the Red Lions indeed roared! Cedric Charlier evened things in the second quarter before Simon Gougnard put them with a third quarter strike. Nicolas De Kerpel provided the hosts with a two-goal cushion firing home a shortie in the final quarter.
India appeared heading for a defeat with just eight minutes left for the final hooter. The Amit Rohidas-led side reduced the deficit via a penalty stroke conversion by Harmanpreet Singh and produced the equaliser in a scintilating short corner where Jugraj Singh sold a dummy and relayed it to Jarmanpreet Singh who slammed home a fine indirectly taken PC goal as the match headed into a shootout.
Sreejesh churned out a crucial penalty stroke save in the shootout off Alexander Hendrickx to help India earn the bonus point from the first leg.
One thought on “India Men Claw Back to Snatch Bonus Point Against Belgium”
Well played India. Nice to see the fightback after being 1-3 down. Such international matches with the world’s best teams gives us the much needed exposure and learnings
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