Indian hockey eves beat Belgium’s junior men on Europe tour
Antwerp (Belgium), Sep 19 (IANS) The Indian women’s hockey team ended their Europe Tour on a high as they beat the Belgium junior mens team 4-3 in a pulsating encounter here.
Goals from Gurjit Kaur (seventh minute, 11th) and captain Rani (13th, 33th) gave visitors their first win of the tour on Monday.
A rampant Indian team started the match with some enthralling attacking play as they earned a penalty corner in the seventh minute which was well converted by drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur to give India the lead.
The defender extended India’s lead in the 11th minute as she converted another penalty corner to make it 2-0.
Captain Rani also got onto the score sheet as she scored a well taken field goal in the 13th minute to make it 3-0 for the visitors at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter began with goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu making her second diving save of the match to deny the Belgians from opening their account.
India displayed grit and fight throughout the second quarter as they held onto their 3-0 lead at the end of 30 minutes.
India started the third quarter with some high intensity play which paid off for them in the 33rd minute as Rani scored her second of the match to make it 4-0.
However, Belgium finally managed to get past India’s sturdy defence when Thibault Neven converted a penalty corner in the 38th minute to make it 1-4.
The hosts produced a great field goal in the 42nd minute via William Van Dessel to end the third quarter with India leading 4-2.
The Belgium Junior Men’s team carried on the momentum in the fourth quarter as Mathias Relik converted a penalty corner giving them their third in the 48th minute to make it 3-4.
It was a nervy last ten minutes for the visitors as Belgium piled on some pressure to find the equaliser.
However, the Indian team held onto their nerves and defended as a unit to see out a well-deserved 4-3 victory.