In the third match of the ongoing 3- Nations Invitational Tournament, today, India’s dragflick sensation Harmanpreet Singh scored a brace to ensure India beat Belgium 3-2 in a battle of nerves.
With this the total goals by the two teams stay at 4-4. India had lost 1-2 to Belgium in their first match of the tournament and drew 2-2 with Germany in their second game.
Drag flicking or penalty corner conversion is what India have always prided in while scoring against any opponents. And the day was no difference as India got two out of their three goals from the stick of Harmanpreet Singh (34′, 38′). The third and the match deciding goal however was scored by star forward Ramandeep Singh (49′) that helped India win match No.3.
After a loss of 1-2 against Germany in their previous match of the tournament, Belgium made a strong start against India by playing an attacking game right from the word go. The 2016 Rio Olympics Silver Medalists showed precision and were dominant with skill and ball possession.
India, however, could have made the best use of their opponents few lapses early on, but they faltered on converting the penalty corners. The opponents, Belgium, however, came up with a brilliant field goal, thanks to Amaury Keusters to take a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute and put India under pressure. Teams went to break with a 1-0 score in favor of Belgium.
Coming off the break, India went into caution not allowing Belgian attackers gates inside the striking circle. Meanwhile, India won two PCs in the 23rd and 24th minute but Harmanpreet Singh’s well-struck flick was blocked by Belgian defenders. The second quarter went goalless.
Coming off the break post the halftime, India continued to trail but soon, in the 34th & 38th minutes, Harmanpreet was impeccable with his dragflicks, to help India claim a 2-1 lead over Belgium. Belgium, too, earned a PC in the 40th minute, which was thwarted by an agile Vikas Dahiya. Belgium, finally, equalized in the 45th minute through Tanguy Cosyns brilliantly struck flick. This was Belgium’s fourth PC of the match. Teams went to break with a 2-2 scoreline.
Coming into the final quarter, both teams pushed hard and fast to seal the match in their favour. India held their nerve with a strong fight back, constantly attacking the Belgian defence and make space in the D. It was India’s forward Ramandeep Singh to find the breakthrough with good assist by his compatriots in the 49th minute. This stayed as the final scoring shot as India won the match 3-2.
India will play their next match on June 6 against Germany at 14.30hours.