The Indian National Hockey team finally secured their first win in the three nation invitational in Germany with their 3-2 victory over Belgium on Monday.
India’s emerging drag flicker Harmanpreet Singh played an important role to lead India to a win with his two goals, one in 34th minute and the other in 38th minute. India lost in their opening game of the tournament to Belgium and played out a 2-2 draw versus the hosts Germany. Belgium were coming into this game on the back of a 1-2 defeat to Germany on Sunday.
India did well to match up against Belgium’s attack and despite the opponents dominating most of the possession, they were able to attain two consecutive penalty corners. However, they were unsuccessful in converting them into goals.
Belgium broke the deadlock in the 13th minute thanks to a goal from Amaury Keusters. The Belgian scored a stunning field goal to put his team ahead and momentarily put the Indians under pressure. India received two opportunities to level the score with two more penalty corners earned in the 23rd and 24th minute respectively but they failed to convert with the Belgian keeper making two thumping saves to deny Harmanpreet.
Fifth time was the charm for India and in the 34th minute, Harmanpreet Singh finally put the ball in the back of the net through a penalty corner to equalize. Within four minutes, he doubled India’s advantage by once again scoring via a penalty corner. Belgium came roaring back seven minutes later by themselves scoring on a penalty corner to make it 2-2. Tanguy Cosyns equalized for the Belgians.
Both the teams were attacking hard in the final quarter but their respective defenses kept neutralizing the opposing attacks. It was India, who scored the winner, when Ramandeep Singh slotted one into the goal.
Indian defenders did well to hold on to the lead in the final minutes to earn their first win in Dusseldorf. India will now play Germany in their final game of the tri-lateral series.