Heart-break for India in opener

India’s shaky defence conceded a goal 15 seconds from time to go down 2-3 to Belgium in its opening game of the World Cup at the Kyocera Stadium here on Saturday.

The Indian defenders allowed space inside the circle to the Belgians, who were frustrated and under pressure after being tied 2-2 going into the final minute of play.

The last-gasp attempt by Belgium saw the ball being switched around to leave the Indians confused and John-John Dohmen managed to push ball over the goalline in a scrimmage.

The last-minute goal undid India’s good show in the second session when it rallied from a one-goal deficit to lead 2-1 to the surprise of the crowd comprising overwhelmingly of Belgium supporters.

Belgium took the lead in the 34th minute through Florent van Aubel before India scored two field goals through Mandeep Singh (45th minute) and Akashdeep Singh (50th).

Belgium equalised on a set-piece penalty corner conversion by Simon Gougnard in the 56th minute and India created openings at the other end before Dohmen got the final-minute winner.

Belgium dominated the game from the beginning, forcing the Indian players to strengthen the defence.

The defenders did quite well to deny the rival strikers and goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh was, as usual, outstanding under the bar.

He blocked two attempts but was sadly beaten by a deflection just a minute before half-time.

Arthur van Doren’s diagonal ball into the circle was deflected by van Aubel into the right corner of the goal past Sreejesh.

The results:

Men: Australia 4 (Glenn Turner 25 & 54, Eddie Ockenden 50, Jamie Dwyer 52) bt Malaysia 0.

Belgium 3 (Florent van Aubel 34, Simon Gougnard 56, John-John Dohmen 70) bt India 2 (Mandeep Singh 45, Akashdeep Singh 50).

Women: New Zealand 4 (Krystal Forgesson 20 & 26, Anita Punt 35, Kayla Whitelock 44) bt Belgium 3 (Barbara Nelen 46, Emille Sinla 49, Stephanie de Groof 55).

Australia 3 (Emily Hurtz 12, Anna Flanagan 49 & 57) bt Korea 2 (Eun Bi Cheon 7, Seul Ki Cheon 63).

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 9:01:08 AM |

Next Story