FIH Pro League: The Indian women’s hockey team suffered a 0-5 defeat to hosts Belgium in the second leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League here on Sunday. Barbara Nealen (2nd), Charlotte Engelbert (4th), Abi Rae (19th), Stephanie Vanden Borey (23rd) and Ambrey Balenghin (36th) scored a goal each for the hosts. Belgium had earlier won the opening leg match 2-1 on Saturday.
poor performance of women
The match started like the previous match, with Belgium’s Nealen giving the hosts an early lead in the second minute. Barbara, taking advantage of the weakness of the Indian defense from the right side, scored a goal by hitting goalkeeper Savita. Two minutes later, the hosts doubled their lead with a goal from Engelbert. Belgium almost scored their third goal in the 7th minute, but the decision was reversed on India’s review as a Belgian player had committed a ‘foot foul’ before the goal. Belgium kept the pressure on India with their aggressive game but Savita’s brilliant goalkeeping foiled their attempt.
Belgium’s awesomeness throughout the match
Belgium continued the momentum in the second quarter and kept the pressure on India by keeping the ball in their court for a longer period. Young player Bichu Devi, who took over the responsibility of goalkeeping in place of Savita, was under pressure from the beginning. He made two good defenses but a goal from Abi Rai took the home team’s lead 3-0. In its four minutes, Vanden Borey converted a penalty corner to give the team the lead 4-0 before halftime. The Indian team started cautiously in the third quarter and created a few chances in the opposition’s court but the Belgian players sabotaged their every opportunity.
Responding to India’s attack, Balenghin scored a goal to reduce Belgium’s lead to 5-0. India kept trying and Navneet scored a goal but it was denied as Sharmila did not start the game from the right spot after receiving the ball on a foul. India scored two penalty corners in the final minutes of the third quarter but did not score a single goal. Gurjeet’s first attempt was thwarted by the Belgian goalkeeper, while Monica’s shot came off the goalpost.
The Indian women’s hockey team will next face Argentina on June 18 and 19 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.