Antwerp. 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. The match started like the previous match, in which Belgium’s Nelen gave 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.
The Belgian team almost scored their third goal in the 7th minute, but the decision was reversed on India’s review, as the Belgian player had committed a foot foul before the goal. Belgium kept the pressure on India with their attacking game, but Savita’s brilliant goalkeeping thwarted their attempt. 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 4 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 rejected as Sharmila did not start the game from the right spot after receiving the ball on a foul. India scored 2 penalty corners in the last 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.
Belgium secured a penalty corner in the opening minute of the last quarter, but Monica made a brilliant defense from the right corner. In the last moments both the teams tried to score but without success. India got a penalty corner in the 59th minute, but Deep Grace Ekka’s shot came from a long distance from the goal post. The Indian women’s hockey team will next face Argentina on June 18 and 19 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
FIRST PUBLISHED : June 12, 2022, 21:32 IST