After a convincing start to their FIH Pro League campaign with wins against Netherlands last month, the Indian men's hockey team defeated World Champion side Belgium 2-1 at a rain-soaked Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
India drew the first blood in the match as Mandeep Singh took the early lead for the home side when he deflected a shot from youngster Dilpreet Singh just two minutes into the first quarter. India held on to their lead till the halftime though failed to capitalise a few PCs that they won,
India were relishing their mighty presence the defence with Sreejesh and Krishan Pathak serving as the bulwarks. However, Belgium found the gap from a penalty corner in the 33rd minute when Gauthier Boccard thundered the ball it into the roof of the goal to equalise.
Manpreet and Co. found the decisive lead for India when they earned a PC a minute into the fourth quarter. The veteran Ramandeep Singh delivered the PC and the drag flick was blocked. It came into Ramandeep's path and he bundled it home.
India will play Belgium once again tomorrow in the second leg. The match will start at 5 PM IST.