India women's team falters 0-2 against Belgium in FIH Hockey Pro League

by IANS |

Antwerp, May 24 (IANS) The Indian women’s hockey team went down 0-2 against Belgium in their closely-fought second match of the European leg of the FIH Pro League 2023/24.

Alexia 'T'Serstevens (34’) and Louise Dewaet (36’) netted a goal each for Belgium.

India began the match with an aggressive approach and won an early penalty corner, but couldn’t capitalise on it. However, they continued to press Belgium, which initially struggled to keep possession and relied on counter-attacks, but India’s defense stood strong to deny them any chances of going in front.

Also, the home side won a penalty corner towards the end of the first quarter, but it was saved by the Indian goalkeeper Savita without much difficulty.

Meanwhile, India made quite a few circle entries but were unable to find the back of the net as the opening quarter remained goalless.

In the second quarter, Belgium increased their pressure with rigorous passing and constant attacks. However, India absorbed the pressure well, shifting the tempo in their favor by maintaining possession and making quick passes, which allowed them to test Belgium's defense a couple of times. Despite these efforts, both teams failed to break the deadlock, and the score remained 0-0 at halftime.

Belgium came out all guns blazing in the third quarter and that helped them in going in front as Alexia 'T'Serstevens (34’) and Louise Dewaet (36’) scored a field goal each in two minutes, thus giving the home side a 2-0 lead.

In the meantime, India upped their ante to bounce back in the match 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, and the match ended 2-0 in favor of Belgium.

Notably, Indian forward Deepika Soreng made her senior team debut in the match.

The Indian Women's Hockey Team will lock horns with Belgium again in their next match on May 25.

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