The Indian hockey team once again suffered a last minute defeat as they went down 2-1 to Olympic champions Belgium in their opening match of the FIH Pro League 2022-23 in London on Friday.
The Indian team, who were unbeaten in the home leg, produced a brilliant performance and the match was tied 1-1 till the third quarter. But, two minutes before the end of the match, taking advantage of the mistake of the defense, Belgium earned a penalty corner and then converted it into a goal to seal the match. The Indian team will now play their next FIH Pro League 2022-23 match against Great Britain on 27 May.
In the first quarter, India started aggressively and attacked the Belgian goal post in the fifth minute itself. However, the Belgian defense easily defended it. With 25 seconds left in the first quarter, Belgium earned a penalty corner. However, they could not take advantage of this opportunity. In the third minute of the second quarter, the Indian team once again brought the ball to Belgium's goalpost. But the Belgian team also succeeded in counterattacking. They gets a penalty corner. Although they did not get success in the first attempt but the team managed to take the lead on the second penalty corner.
However, in the 10th minute of the same quarter, Mandeep Singh equalized for India. After this, the third quarter also saw a close fight between the two teams and no goal was scored. But, at the end of the fourth quarter, Belgium took the match by scoring a goal. For India, Mandeep Singh (24') scored the solitary goal while Thibeau Stockbroekx (17') and Nelson Onana (59') netted for Belgium.
Despite the loss, India lead the FIH Pro League 2022-23 standings with 19 points from nine matches while Belgium are seventh with nine points from five matches.