New Delhi, The Indian men’s hockey team squandered a goal’s advantage to lose 1-3 to hosts Belgium in Boom and slump to its second consecutive defeat in the ongoing tour of Europe. The Red Devils dished out a spirited performance late last night and came from a goal down to beat India and register their second win in the series in as many days. India had earlier lost by a solitary goal to Belgium in their opening game of the tour on Wednesday.
The Indians, who have fielded an experimental team here with as many as six players making their debut in the senior national side, started on an aggressive note and surged ahead in the fourth minute when Armaan Qureshi scored a brilliant
But India’s joy was short-lived as Belgium drew parity five minutes later. The lead didn’t last long as Belgium scored the equaliser through Amaury Keusters (9th minute). Belgium were the better side on display in the second quarter and took the lead in the 21st minute when Loick Luypaert scored with a superb drag-flick.
Just at the stroke of halftime, Belgium extended their lead through Victor Wegnez’s field strike. It was a neck-and-neck fight between the two teams in the third and fourth quarters. India pressed hard in search of goals but the Belgian defence stood like a rock to thwart any danger to their citadel. The Indians will now head to Waalwijk, Netherlands to face the home team on August 13 and 14 before winding up their five-match Europe tour with a game against Austria in Amstelveen on August 16.