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India concedes last minute goal and three points to Belgium in FIH League

India, Belgium, and Great Britain will play each other twice in this round of the FIH Pro League.

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In a grueling game of vintage hockey, defending Olympic champions Belgium managed full points from its game against India as the FIH Hockey Pro League games resumed on Friday. The victory for Belgium came from a last-minute penalty corner conversion by Nelson Onana.

India, Belgium, and Great Britain will play each other twice in this round of the FIH Pro League.

India, preparing itself for the coming Asian Games in Hangzhou in September this year, played well against the defending FIH Pro League champions and current Olympic champions.

Playing on an away venue – London – Belgium took the lead in the second quarter through a penalty corner when Thibeau Stockbroekx found the target. Though Indians had put up a good defense, the Belgians’ repeated onslaughts on the Indian citadel ultimately succeeded in making a dent.

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Stung by the reverse, Indians went all out for the equalizer by working out good moves. They had their chances, but the solid defense of their opponents nullified all their attempts till they earned a penalty corner, five minutes from the breather. It was left to Mandeep Singh to make full use of the opportunity after the initial attempt had been thwarted by the Belgian defense.

Though both the teams went all out, looking for a match winner, success eluded both till the final minute. As the Indian team is known to crack under last minute pressures, it did to its own great agony. It not only conceded a penalty corner but also a goal and all the three points from the game. The match clincher was Nelson Onana.

Now India plays Great Britain in its second match.

Prabhjot Singh

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