Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dutch Tour: India lose 1-2 to Belgium national side

The Indian men’s hockey team went down 1-2 to Belgium in an international practice game on their tour of the Netherlands. India leaked a first half goal when prolific Belgium striker Tom Boon put his side ahead. The Redshirts held on to the solitary-goal lead to go into the half-time break with a slender advantage.

The Terry Walsh-coached Indians tried to mount a fightback in the second stanza and drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh restored parity with twelve minutes to go for the final hooter. It was the burly fullback’s fifth goal of the Dutch tour.

India fancied their chances to go for the kill with an extra spring in their strides after the equalizer, but Tom Boon poured cold water on their hopes with another match-clinching strike.

The national team is utilizing the Dutch trip to fine-tune their preparations for the 2014 World Cup, scheduled to be held at The Hague, Netherlands from 31 May to June 15. 

Earlier, the Sardar Singh-led side played out a 3-3 draw with Dutch club HGC in their second practice game. Vokkaliga Raghunath scored the first goal for India, while Nikkin Thimmaiah scored the second goal. Rupinder Pal Singh, who scored twice in the opening practice game, fired home the third goal as they walked off the pitch with shared honours.

The Blueshirts had commenced their exposure tour on a whirlwind note clobbering Leiden Hockey Club 7-0. Akashdeep Singh gave India the lead in the 18th minute before Nikkin Thimmaiah doubled the lead three minutes later as they led 2-0 at half-time. Rupinder Pal Singh struck two penalty corner goals early in the second half before Ramandeep Singh scored the fifth goal for India in the 43rd min. Vokkaliga Raghunath converted a short corner in the 45th min before Yuvraj Walmiki wrapped up the decimation job slotting home the seventh goal.

India will now face the Dutch national side in their fourth practice game.
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