India overcome Belgium in first friendly

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> India overcame a defiant and tenacious Belgium team to register a 3-1 win in their first friendly hockey match.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
  • Total Shares

Nivelles :

India overcame a defiant and tenacious Belgium team to register a 3-1 win in their first friendly hockey match. India, who led 1-0 at the break, scored through Sandeep Singh, Deepak Thakur and Prabhjot Singh in the match played late last night. Under preparation This was India's first match on the second leg of their pre-Olympic preparations. The 21 man squad which is undergoing training at Leverkusen in Germany, has come to Nivelles to play two matches against Belgium, before they embark on the Dusseldorf Four Nation Tournament. Eighteen-year-old Sandeep Singh put India ahead early in the first session with his powerful drag flick off their first penalty corner. This was awarded after Arjun Halappa was deliberately brought down in the Belgian circle. India mounted the onslaughts after taking the lead but their physically stronger and hard tackling opponents gave very little room for maneuvering within the twenty three meter area. Lost chances The Indian forwards also missed many chances as they frittered away some sitters and failed to make full use of the cross passes from the midfield. Belgium, who had held India in the Olympic Qualifier at Madrid in March, conceded the second goal in the 51st minute when Deepak Thakur pushed home after veteran Dhanraj Pillay had set him up from the right. The hosts fought back with many forays into the Indian circle and succeeded in earning five penalty corners. Four of these were aborted by goalkeeper Adrian D'souza, the fifth one was deflected in off a defenders stick. Looking good Stung with this reversal, India struck back immediately to make it 3-1 when Prabhjot Singh scored after a midfield combination play by Ignace Tirkey and Vikram Pillay. Chief coach Rajinder Singh felt the boys were getting into their rhythm and he would try out some younger players in the next match. The visitors are expected to effect a few changes in their starting lineup, bringing in centre half Vivek Gupta, forward Sandeep Michael and defender Harpal Singh for Viren Rasquinha, Arjun Halappa. (PTI)

For the latest Sports news , like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and get the NDTV Cricket app for Android or iOS

  • Hockey

Leave a comment