FIH Pro League: IND women’s hockey team suffered a 5-0 loss to BEL in the second leg
The Indian women’s hockey team suffered a 5-0 loss to hosts Belgium in the second leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021/22 at the Sportscentrum Wilrijks Plain in Antwerp on Sunday (June 12). For hosts Belgium, Barbara Nellen (2′), Charlotte Engelbert (4′), Abi Rae (19′), Stephanie Vanden Borey (23′) and Ambre Balenghin (36′) scored a goal each.
The match started almost like yesterday, with Belgium’s Barbara Nellon giving the hosts an early lead in the second minute. India were caught off guard in the counterattack, leaving the right edge completely open for Barbara, who comfortably found the back of the net from the far post.
Two minutes later, the hosts doubled their lead through Charlotte Engelbert. Belgium almost scored their third goal in the seventh minute, but the decision was reversed on India’s review as a Belgian foot foul was found before the goal. Belgium put the pressure on India through their aggressive moves, but Savita stood tall and kept the score 2-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The hosts picked up the pace from an aggressive start to the second quarter and took most of the possession in the opening minutes. Young Indian custodian Bichu Devi, who came in as a replacement in this quarter, was called into action from the start of the quarter. During Belgium’s attack, he saved a few rebounds, but Abi Rai managed to convert the third attempt and gave his team a 3–0 lead in the 19th minute.
Not the result we wanted, but we’ll be stronger next week!
IND 0:5 BEL#IndiaKaGame #HockeyIndia #FIHProLeague #HockeyAtItsBest #MatchDay @CMO_Odisha @sports_odisha @IndiaSports @Media_SAI pic.twitter.com/B3pSOrmG0t
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) June 12, 2022
Belgium added a fourth goal to their tally via Stephanie Vanden Borey, who duly converted a penalty corner in the 23rd minute. The hosts got another penalty corner in the 26th minute, but Bichu Devi made a brilliant save to stop the hosts from scoring. In the closing minutes, India earned their first penalty corner of the match but missed to convert it, thus going 4–0 at the end of the first half.
India started the third quarter cautiously and made a few moves inside their opponent’s half, but Belgium reacted quickly and extended their lead in the 36th minute with a brilliant effort from Amre Balenghinin. Two minutes later, India found the back of the net through Navneet, but the goal was denied as Sharmila did not start the game from the right spot by winning the ball on a foul.
An improvised attack saw India earn two penalty corners in the final minutes of the third quarter, but they missed out on converting their chances. While Gurjeet’s first attempt was turned down by the Belgian goalkeeper, Monika missed the target in her second attempt. The home team earned a penalty corner in the opening minutes of the final quarter, but Monica made a fine save on the right corner.
The latter phase of the final quarter saw some end-to-end action, with both teams trying to enter each other’s strike circle, displaying some attacking and defending skills. India also secured a penalty corner in the 59th minute, but Deep Grace Ekka’s slap shot went wide and missed the score, thus losing 0-5.
The Indian women’s hockey team will next face Argentina on June 18 and 19 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Both the matches will be played at 1730 IST and will be telecast live on Star Sports First and Disney Plus Hotstar.