Valencia: India’s junior men’s hockey team lost 2-4 to Belgium in their second game of the four-nation Invitational hockey tournament. India had earlier defeated Germany 3-1 in their opening game.
In last night’s game, it was Belgium who broke the deadlock right in the opening minute, winning a penalty corner right off their first attack and Victor Wegnez converting the same to give them the early lead.
The game’s pace dropped a bit after the goal, with both teams slugging it out in the midfield in their effort to get a foothold in the game. India won a penalty corner in the fourth minute, but the attempt was saved by Loic Van Doren in front of Belgium goal. India earned a second penalty corner in the 11th minute and from the ensuing attempt, Harmanpreet Singh converted to draw level.
The teams exchanged several penalty corner opportunities in the rest of the first half, but failed to convert a single one to go into the breather tied at 1-1. After the change of ends, Belgium sounded the board thrice in a span of eight minutes to dismantle the Indians. Fabrice Van Bockrijck (49th), Antoine Kina (56th) and Gregory Stockbroekx (57th) scoring a goal each to put Belgium on top.
Thereafter, Belgium were content to sit back and defend, relying mostly on counters to surprise the Indians. Ajay Yadav pulled one back for India in the 60th minute, but despite their constant forays into the rival circle, the Belgians managed to hold on their two goal lead. The Indian colts will face hosts Spain later today, while the eves will be up against Germany in the five-nation tournament.