Bhubaneswar, December 2: After going 0-1 down in the first half, Indian Hockey team played a thrilling 2-2 draw against Belgium in their second Pool C encounter in the FIH Men's Hockey World Cup 2018 here on Sunday (December 2).
Team India, however, must be thinking they could have actually won this game to top the group had they not conceded a field goal in the 56th minute of the game and later failing to exploit the absence of Belgium's goalkeeper from the turf.
When the final whistle was blown the scorelines read 2-2. Alexander Hendrickx (8' PC) and Simon Gougnard (56' FG) scored for Belgium while Harmanpreet Singh (39' PS) and Simranjeet Singh (47' FG) shined for the home side in a game that was one of the most pulsating games of hockey.
In head-to-head record against Belgium, the Indians are way behind for since 2013, both teams have played against each other on 20 occasions with India registering five wins as against Belgium's 13. Two games, including tonight's, have ended in a draw.
India looked a better side in the second half of the game and looked nervous and shaky in the first 30 minutes. The Indians conceded three penalty corners in the first 15 minutes itself and trailed 0-1 till half-time.
As it happened:
FULL TIME!! India and Belgium play 2-2 draw in a pulsating game. Gougnard's goal in the 56th minute took the game away from India's grip.
56' GOAL! Belgium hit the equaliser. Simon Gougnard gets his team back in the game. IND 2-2 BEL
47' Goal!! Simranjeet gives India the lead. Brilliant work from Kothajit in the Belgian 'D' and Simranjeet shows the presence of mind to deflect the shot into the goal post.
41' India lose their referral.
40' GOAL!!! Harmanpreet Singh scores for India. It was a Penalty Stroke against which Vanasch had no reply. India get the equaliser and they've come back strongly in the third quarter.
35' Penalty Corner for India but a brilliant save from Belgium's custodian denies India an equalizer.
3rd Quarter Begins!
Half-time! Belgium 1-0 India. The tempo is unpredictable on the turf as Belgium defended their lead while Team India had some opportunities at hand but they failed to convert it.
28' Indians are counter-attacking in Belgium's circle but the Red Lions are pretty alert and denying the Indians an equalizer. The Indians have slowed down the game but they haven't been fortunate enough.
23'! Belgium have spread themselves over the width of the turf to maintain possession while the Indian forwards pressure their circle area. IND 0-1 BEL
2nd Quarter! Akashdeep gets the green card and India are down to 10 players.
19' Missed opportunity!! Little bit of selfish game from Dilpreet as he didn't pass to Lalit who was unmarked in the hitting position. India missed the chance to equalise. Coach Harendra isn't happy with Dilpreet's effort.
2nd Quarter begins! Indians are looking to equalise now.
End of the 1st quarter and Belgium lead 1-0 against India. Indians made some counter attacks but the Belgian defenders were very alert in their circle.
11' India are looking to make a quick recovery after Belgium's goal and spend some time pressuring their opponents' circle.
Goal!! 8' Belgium take the lead as Hendrickx converts a PC against India. PR Sreejesh couldn't defend the drag flick from the striker and the crowd is silent.
It's a Full House in Bhubaneswar! Great support for Team India.
It's a full house at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, as India would be relying a lot on the their 12th Man, the crowd which would be backing them against the @BELRedLions. #INDvBEL #IndiaKaGame #HWC2018 #DilHockey pic.twitter.com/GeW7e7cBHc— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) December 2, 2018
Belgium have cleared their intentions from the first minute itself as the Red Lions are attacking from the word go. India will have to slow things down by controlling the game.
Belgium get a penalty corner in the first minute itself via review. And PR Sreejesh saves it for India.
The countdown ends and the first quarter begins! Tighten your seat belts.
India and Belgium teams are out into the middle for the national anthem!
Full Time! Canada and South Africa play 1-1 draw in the Pool B encounter. This is the second draw of HWC 2018.
South Africa and Canada are engaged in a stiff battle at the moment. After remaining goal-less in the first two quarters, both the teams scored a goal each in the third quarter. RSA 1-1 CAN.
Crowd at Bhubaneswar's Kalinga Stadium are gathering in good numbers to support Men In Blue.
India take on Belgium and Akashdeep is confident of the hosts' preparation ahead of the match.
.@akashdeeps985, who turned a year older today, is confident about India's preparations for their match against Belgium. He feels that the team has emerged strongly after beating South Africa, 5-0. #INDvBEL #IndiaKaGame #HWC2018 #DilHockey pic.twitter.com/AwWvOByXYf— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) December 2, 2018