In a remarkable turnaround, the Indian men's hockey team bounced back from consecutive defeats in the European leg of the FIH Pro League, stunning the reigning Olympic champions Belgium with a resounding 5-1 victory on Friday.
Captain Harmanpreet Singh showcased an exceptional performance as he struck a brace to secure India's remarkable triumph.
Right from the start, India showed their intent to dominate the game when midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad found the back of the net in the second minute, giving India an early lead.
The team's relentless attack continued to trouble the Belgian defense, leading to two penalty corners that Harmanpreet Singh expertly converted in the 21st and 30th minutes.
Adding to the goal tally, Amit Rohidas capitalized on the team's momentum and scored a splendid goal in the 29th minute. With a comfortable 4-0 lead at the half-time break in hand, India maintained their composure and thwarted Belgium's attempts to mount a comeback. Dilpreet Singh sealed the match for India with a clinical strike in the 60th minute.
Despite their dominance, Belgium managed to salvage some pride when William Ghislain scored a consolation goal for his team in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, but it proved to be too little, too late for the Olympic champions.
This resounding victory comes as a welcome relief for the Indian team, who had suffered back-to-back defeats in their earlier matches against Belgium (1-2) and Great Britain (2-4). The win not only demonstrates their resilience but also reaffirms their position as serious contenders in the FIH Pro League.
With this morale-boosting triumph, the Indian team now looks ahead to their upcoming encounter against Great Britain on Saturday. The team will be eager to build on their current form and secure another crucial victory in their quest for glory in the prestigious tournament.