Indian men's team beats Belgium, seals series whitewash
The Indian men's hockey team registered another convincing victory over Belgium to conclude the five-match test series winning all the ties.
The Indian men's hockey team registered another convincing 5-1 victory over Belgium to conclude the five-match test series winning all the ties in Antwerp, Belgium on Thursday.
The men in blue, led by captain Manpreet Singh opened their goal-scoring account in the opening quarter as reliable forward Simranjeet struck a field goal in the 5th minute. Minutes later, a spectacular save by goalkeeper Krishan B Pathak denied the hosts a chance and Quarter 1 ended with India maintaining their slim lead. Despite winning three penalty corners, the Belgian side failed to convert their chances and the proceedings reach the half-time mark with Graham Reid's side still maintaining the lead.
The proceedings began in the second half with the hosts producing a barrage of attacks, however, nothing went in their favour. India's veteran forward Lalit Upadhyay struck a fiery goal to double India's lead in the third quarter. Moments later, it was followed by another goal by the young sensation Vivek Sagar Prasad, which took the lead to 3-0.
However, Belgian showed sparks and capitalised their fourth PC to make it 3-1. The dramatic third quarter ensued further as Harmanpreet struck a thunderous PC to make 4-1 for India. The goal spree in the quarter continued with the Indian warhorse Ramandeep Singh picking up the fifth goal for India. No goals were scored in the fourth quarter.
The Indian side has seen a renewed vigour after coach Graham Reid took the team's reign. They picked up the back-to-back victory in the FIH Series Finals in June, followed by the Tokyo Olympics 2020 test event in August.
India played their opening match against Belgium which they won 2-0. It was followed by two consecutive matches with Spain, which the men in blue won 6-1 and 5-1, respectively. In the fourth match, India took on the hosts again which they won 2-1.