After suffering back-to-back losses in their European leg of the FIH Pro League, India shocked Olympic champions Belgium 5-1 on Friday thanks to a pair of goals from captain Harmanpreet Singh.
India took the lead in the game’s second minute thanks to a goal from midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad, before Harmanpreet scored twice from penalty corners in the 20th and 30th minutes.
The two Indian goal scorers were Dilpreet Singh (60th) and Amit Rohidas (29th).
The lone goal for Belgium was scored in the first minute of the fourth quarter by William Ghislain (46th).
India, which had arrived in Europe as the Pro League’s top team, had fallen to Belgium 1-2 in the first game of the European leg on May 26 before falling to Great Britain 2-4 the following day.
In order to build on this early success, India demonstrated good ball control and the correct attitude in their attacking structure.
Even though India was unable to take advantage of this opportunity, they did score from a different PC in the 20th minute when Harmanpreet received a strong injection from Abhishek and sent a drag-flick that found the bottom corner of the goal.
The Indian team was well-positioned with a 2-0 lead, which allowed them to play their natural game. They controlled the possession of the ball and kept breaching the Belgian defence.
India increased their lead to 4-0 by winning another PC in the ensuing minute. Amit led the PC variation after a strong injection from Hardik Singh, but the Belgian custodian stopped his flick. However, Harmanpreet Singh grabbed the rebound and made quick work of beating Loic Van Doren to the ball.
At the start of the third quarter, Belgium was awarded back-to-back PCs, putting their opponent’s defence to the test as India took a commanding lead at halftime.