Hamilton (New Zealand), January 28: India lost 0-3 on penalties to Belgium in the Final of the Four Nations Invitational Tournament after holding the world No.3 side 4-4 in the regulation time.
FT. India sustain a tough loss by @BELRedLions in a hard-fought game in the Final of the second leg of the Four Nations Invitational Tournament in NZ, which was decided by a Penalty Shoot-out.#IndiaKaGame #INDvBEL #NZ4Nations pic.twitter.com/oox2gW7ebR— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) January 28, 2018
Earlier, Japan beat hosts New Zealand 4-1 on penalties to clinch the third-place spot after holding the Black Sticks to 1-1 in regulation time.
At the Gallagher Hockey Stadium, Felix Denayer, Sebastien Dockier and Arthur van Doren scored for Belgium in the shootout.
In the regulation time, Tanguy Cosyns (41), Cedric Charlier (43), Amaury Keusters (51) and Denayer (56) were the scorers for Blegium.
For the Sjoerd Marine-coached side , Ramandeep Singh (29, 53), Nilakanta Sharma (42) and Mandeep Singh (49) scored.
The final was a goal-fest with both teams testing each other hooter-to-hooter.
India grabbed the lead in 29th minute, thanks to clever work by Mandeep in the circle as he found Ramandeep in the top of the circle. Ramandeep had the time to control it and take a sure shot into the goal.
The action intensified in the third quarter with Belgium upping their attack and netting the equalizer in the 41st minute through Cosyns's well-executed penalty corner.
Moments later, India's Nilakanta was quick to pick up a beautiful assist from Mandeep Singh to strike the ball past Vincent Vanasch into Belgium post to make it 2-1 in the 42nd minute.
But Belgium equalised in the following minute, through Charlier, who used reverse hit to send the ball between Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh's legs.
Four goals were scored in the final quarter.
Mandeep scored in the 49th minute, but Belgium drew level again through Keusters in the 51st.
India again took the lead again through a sensational goal by Ramandeep in the 53rd minute.
But Belgium, stayed in hunt and equalised again through Denayer in the 56th, ensuring the match went into a penalty shootout where they had the last say.
(Source: Hockey India)