Indian women suffer second straight loss in European leg of Pro League, lose 0-2 against Belgium

Antwerp (Belgium), May 24 (PTI) The Indian women’s hockey team lost its second game on the trot in the European leg of the FIH Pro League as Belgium handed the visitors a 0-2 defeat here.

The Indian women, under new coach and captain in Harendra Singh and Salima Tete, were earlier thrashed 0-5 by Argentina in their opening match on Wednesday.

Both Belgium goals came from field efforts through Alexia ‘T Serstevens in the 34th minute and Dewaet Louise two minutes later on Thursday night.

Contrary to the result, the Indians started the match on an aggressive note and won an early penalty corner, but couldn’t capitalise on it.

However, the visitors continued to press Belgium, which initially struggled to keep possession and relied on counter-attacks. India’s defence stood tall in the first two quarters, denying the hosts any scoring opportunities.

Belgium won a penalty corner towards the end of the first quarter, but the effort was saved by veteran India goalkeeper Savita without much difficulty.

In the second quarter, Belgium increased pressure with brisk passes and constant attacks.

But the Indians absorbed the pressure well, shifting the tempo in their favour by maintaining possession and making quick passes, which allowed them to test Belgium’s defence a couple of times but in vain as the deadlock remained at half-time.

Belgium came out all guns blazing after the change of ends and as took the lead through Alexia four minutes into the third quarter.

Two minutes later, Dewaet struck again to double Belgium’s lead.

Down 0-2, India upped their ante and even won a penalty corner towards the end of the penultimate quarter, but failed to make the most of it.

In the fourth quarter, India made early advances and tested Belgium’s defense rigorously, but the hosts successfully defended their lead.

Despite maintaining possession and making regular circle entries, India couldn’t find the back of the net

India will play Belgium again in their next match on Saturday.

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