Three Nations Invitational: India beat gritty Belgium 3-2

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Three Nations Invitational: India beat gritty Belgium 3-2

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SportsCafe Desk

06/06/2017

Harmanpreet Singh's brace helped India secure a 3-2 win over Belgium in the Three Nations Invitational Tournament on Monday. The Indian side put up a splendid all-around performance and came from behind to win the tie after previously being defeated 2-1 by Belgium in their first match.

After a defeat against Belgium in their first game and a 2-2 draw against Germany in their second, India finally got back to winning ways on Monday as they beat Belgium. 

Belgium who on Sunday suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Germany started the game on the offensive and pushed the Indian defence to their limits. However, it was India who won the majority of penalty corners in the first quarter but were unable to convert the chances into goals.

Belgium drew first blood when Amaury Keusters shot the ball past the goal line in the 13th minute to take a one-goal lead. 

India started the second quarter on the defensive and cautiously wavered off the Belgian attack. The Men in Blue won two consecutive penalty corners in the 23rd and 24th minutes but Harmanpreet Singh's flick was blocked by the Belgian defenders. The second quarter ended goalless with India still trailing.

India finally equalised in the 34th minute when their fifth penalty corner was converted through an exquisite Harmanpreet Singh drag flick. But the penalty corner specialist did not stop there and put India in front by successfully converting another penalty corner. However, the Belgians did not sit behind and launched an attack of their own earning themselves a penalty corner in the 40th minute which was bravely saved by Indian goalkeeper Vikas Dahiya to help India keep the one-goal cushion intact.

However, the lead did not last past the 45th minute as Belgium equalised on their fourth penalty corner of the match when Tanguy Cosyns flicked the ball home. It all came down to the final quarter of the match where both teams gave it their best to seal a victory in their favour.

Finally, it was India who showed nerves of steel and once again took the lead when Ramandeep Singh fired home from a brilliant assist from his compatriots in the 49th minute. Following the goal, it was the Indian defence whose stellar effort prevented the Belgium side an equaliser again and sealed the game for India.

India will face Germany in their fourth match of the tournament today. 

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