FIH Pro League, India vs Belgium: Ramandeep strike sinks world champion - As it happened

Catch all the highlight of the FIH Pro League first-leg match between Indian men's hockey team and Belgium at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

India will face Belgium after beating the world champion thrice last year at Antwerp.   -  Hockey India

Hello and welcome to the Sportstar's highlights of the FIH Men's Pro League hockey match between India and Belgium at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

 

FULL-TIME: INDIA 2-1 BELGIUM

The win takes India to second in the FIH Pro League standings. Graham Reid's men have now picked 8 points out of the possible nine points from its three matches. Belgium, which has won three and won the shootout against Australia in its first match, is at the top with 11 points.

Follow the second leg match LIVE

4th Quarter

60' PC to Belgium and SAVED! It will be the final hit of the regulation time as the Belgians to desperate to force a penalty shootout and two seconds left. Sreejesh makes a low save to his right. And off goes to the hooter.

59' PC to India! This could've been India's best chance as Belgium takes off the goalkeeper for an 11th outfield player without goalkeeping privileges. However, Lalit gets his knee in the way after Rupinder Pal's dragflick takes a deflection off the runner. Belgium gets a free out.

59' PC to Belgium! Boccard stands over the dragflick but De Kerpel takes the shot which comes Rupinder's stick. Dockier latches on to the rebound and Sreejesh gets a good hand to the shot to keep it out. Belgium wins another PC and Sreejesh repels the shot and Rohidas comes up with a vital clearance to play out the rebound.

58' Dilpreet and Van Aubel clatter into each other near the centre line as the umpire penalises the Indian with a green card. He will be out of the game for the next two minutes.

57' CLOSE! India wins the ball in the centre as Gurjant finds space wide on the left and unleashes a powerful reverse hit at the far post. Ramandeep slides in, looking for a deflection but misses the post narrowly. That should've been the third goal.

54' Gurjant rebukes Mandeep after the forward lets the ball roll out of play from a counter attack. India quells two Belgian attacks in the span of 30 seconds as Sreejesh and Rupinder make vital interceptions.

53' Rohidas wins the ball on the left and beats Hendrickx. However, he hits a stray pass in an attempt to find Gurjant on the baseline.

51' Belgium pins India back in its own area with attempt after attempt. Rupinder Pal puts in a vital tackle to deny Kina as Germanpreet does well to block out an attempt from Van Aubel.

50' Manpreet is hit on the knee from an attempted cross from Boon. The Indian captain looks fine as Belgians come back at the goal again.

49' SAVE! The Indian goalkeepers are in fantastic form today. De Kerpel slides in near the baseline and crosses into the centre as Sreejesh sticks his boot in to clear the danger.

48' Back-to-back PCs to Belgium! Terrific running by Amit Rohidas. The Odisha lad blocks Hendrickx's first dragflick as the umpire awards a second PC to Belgium. Rohidas does the same once again and wins a free out for India after being fouled by Gougnard on the edge of the circle.

47' GOAL INDIA! Harmanpreet Singh stands over the penalty corner as his dragflick comes off Wegnez's foot and falls for Ramandeep at the near post, who stabs home to put the host back in the lead.

46' India gets the final quarter started. Ramandeep wins a penalty corner for India after receving a pass from the deep.

3rd Quarter

45' Mandeep runs for the ball on the right but is unable to reach it as it runs out of play as the umpire brings an end to the third quarter.

44' What a save! That's a sensational save from Krishan Pathak. Van Aubel is fed by Briels lurking at the near post who hits it with venom, but Pathak puts a hand just in time to repel the ball at point-blank.

43' De Kerpel reaches the baseline and crosses into the centre of the D but the ball comes off Boon's foot as India survives.

41' PC to India and Goal? Manpreet wins a corner for the host as Rupinder stands over the dragflick. Manpreet, who is the stopper, goes for the shot and finds the net. However, the on-field umpire is not sure of the stop and consults the TV umpire for further clarification. The TV umpire sees that the ball was stopped inside the 22-yard line and awards a free out for Belgium.

40' Germanpreet wins back the ball in his own half and play it Dilpreet upfront as he sends Gurjant racing towards the baseline. Gurjant squares a pass across the goal line but there is no one to get on the end of it.

38' The intensity of the game has come down a bit after Belgium's equaliser. India needs to be careful at the back to keep the marauding Belgian forwards at bay.

35' SAVE! Hardik does well to skip past two Belgian defenders and takes a reverse hit with Ramandeep in support near the goal. Vanasch stretches towards his right to make a smart save.

33' PC for India! India wins its first corner of the match but Rupinder Pal's dragflick bounces off the first runner.

31' GOAL BELGIUM! Belgium wins a PC in the first minute after the restart as it goes for a variation. Boccard, the second battery shifts towards his left and finds a huge gap between the second runner and the goalkeeper and smashes it into the roof of the net.

HALF-TIME: INDIA 1-0 BELGIUM

2nd Quarter

30' India has managed to wither the intense pressure from the European champion as it wins a turn over. Mandeep races off to the baseline but the hooter goes off indicating half-time.

29' Raj Kumar Pal gets a green card for a cynical foul on Wegnez. Boccard and Dockier combine on the right but Rohidas puts in a crucial block and clears it away in a flash to keep India's lead.

27' SAVED! That was a top-drawer save from Sreejesh. Meurmans enters the area flicks the ball at the far post but Sreejesh shows razor-sharp reflexes to keep the ball out.

26' Good move from India! Harmanpreet wins the ball from Boon and passes it to Ramandeep who finds Lalit in the centre. The forward exchanges passes with Gurjant who gets to the baseline and pulls the trigger but Belgium survives.

24' SAVE! Good anticipation from Sreejesh. He reads the pass from the right and sticks his foot to block the ball before it reaches Boon lurking at the near post.

23' Ramandeep plays a defense-splitting pass to Kothajit who gets the ball to Mandeep who plays it into the area but does not find support. Vanasch kicks it out of the area and Belgium comes back.

22' Tom Boon intercepts a pass from Rohidas in the final fourth but the umpire awards a free hit to India as the forward plays on to his foot not for the first time in this game.

21' Superb work from Gougnard. The centre half gets a timber off his stick to block Dilpreet's shot from the left.

20' PC to Belgium! Sixth short corner for the match for the world champion. Sreejesh stretches low to his right to keep the ball out. Arthur van Doren gets into a dangerous position inside the area but mishandles it as India breaks away.

19' India gets back the ball as Manpreet loses the ball to Gougnard inside the D. Nilakanta Sharma wins and loses possession near the centre line.

17' Surender Kumar takes the ball off Gougnard inside the circle with a robust tackle. The rain in Bhubaneswar is affecting the pitch as Wegnez slips while carrying the ball from the left flank.

16' Second quarter begins! Rupinder Pal plays a stray pass to gift the ball away to Belgium. De Sloover slips near the backline almost loses possession to Lalit.

1st Quarter

15' PC for Belgium! What a match Krishan Pathak is having! He traps the Briels' shot between his hand guards before swatting it away and then deflects Gougnard's dragflick.

14' Tom Boon showcases delightful stickwork as he beats Manpreet on his way into the D. Harmanpreet tackles him from behind and picks up a green card. He will be out of the match for the next 2 minutes.

12' Close! Harmanpreet plays a splitting pass from inside his own half and finds Ramandeep on the edge of the 23-yards area but is unable to beat Vanasch.

10' The Indians are happy to sit back and hit Belgium on the counter. The backline has maintained its shape so far and has to keep doing that against a dangerous Belgian side where a lapse of concentration could result in an equaliser.

9' PC to Belgium! India loses the referral as the TV umpire deems Boon's tackle legitimate. Boon goes for the bottom right corner which Pathak does well to save.

8' Good tackling from Rohidas. Briels tries a 360-degree spin but is stopped in his tracks by the Indian defender. The Red Lions build from the back and win a PC. Kothajit asks for a referral to check if there is a stick check from Tom Boon in front of the goal.

6' Solid defending from the Indians. Jarmanpreet and Harmanpreet combine to rob the ball off Boccard as India breaks away from the left.

5' Belgium goes the aerial route as Tom Boon plays on to his foot inside the penalty area. The umpire awards India a free hit. Hardik cuts in from the right and scoops the ball into the box but Vincent Vanasch is alert and swats away for a free hit.

4' A fourth penalty corner in a row to Belgium after Hendrickx's flick hits Amit Rohidas' foot. However, the fourth attempt goes wide off the right post and India wins the free hit. India breaks away at full speed as Jarmanpreet loses the ball on the left flank.

3' SAVE! Belgium hits back immediately and wins back-to-back penalty corners. Alexander Hendrickx's second shot is saved by Krishan Pathak as Manpreet makes a last ditch clearance off the goaline. Belgium asks for a referral as the third umpire awards a penalty corner to the visitor. However, Belgium loses its referral as it had asked for a penalty stroke.

2' GOAL INDIA! What a stunning start by the home team. Raj Kumar Pal on the left squares a pass to Dilpreet Singh who takes the shot from edge of the area which is deflect into the net by Mandeep. It was 19 seconds against Netherlands.

1' Here we go! Belgium begins the proceedings from left to right. Victor Wegnez wins the free hit for the visitor in the centre as the Red Lions get close through Thomas Briels.

The players are out on the pitch for the national anthems...

Form guide and rankings:

Belgium, the reigning World and European champion, is playing its third tie of the Men's Pro League and has won all of its matches against Australia and New Zealand so far. The match will also be crucial for the newly-introduced FIH rankings system which is updated after every international match. Beligum, currently number one with 2524.29 points, will look to solidify its position at the top while India, which climbed to fourth in the rankings, following Argentina's loss to Spain yesterday, will aim to add to its tally of 2019.57 with a win over the Red Lions.

Head-to-head:

India and Belgium have played 10 times here; Belgium won on eight occasions while two games ended in a draw.

After Belgium, India will host Australia here on February 21 and 22 before embarking on away matches against Germany (on April 25 and 26), Great Britain (May 2 and 3), Argentina (June 5 and 6) and Spain (June 13 and 14). The last time India faced Belgium at the Kalinga Stadium was in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup which ended in a 2-2 draw.

Match Preview

The Indian team, confident after a stupendous debut at the FIH Pro League, will nevertheless have its task cut out when it hosts world champion Belgium in the second round of the tournament that starts here on Saturday.

After skipping the first edition of the tournament in 2019, India made a dream debut at the League, collecting five points from the opening tie against the Netherlands. World No. 5 India thrashed Netherlands 5-2 in the opening match of the two-leg tie before ensuring a 3-1 win in the shoot-out in the second match here last month.

Since then, the Indians haven’t featured in the league, slipping in the points table. Belgium, on the other hand, is currently positioned at the top of the points table with 11 points from four games, while Netherlands is placed second with seven points from as many matches.

Brimming with confidence

But irrespective of the confident start, the Indians are expected to face a tough outing against Belgium at the Kalinga Stadium, a venue where the Red Lions won their maiden FIH World Cup in 2018. Belgium is brimming with confidence after wins over Australia and New Zealand. But captain Thomas Briels admitted his team expects a tough fight from India in the upcoming matches.

Belgium will take confidence from the fact that Kalinga Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for it. “It feels really good to be back in the city where we became the world champions. We have some amazing memories of playing here, and it is always a great spectacle when we step foot onto the turf at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium,” Briels said.

 

The match will broadcast live on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD2 from 5 pm onwards and will be streamed live on Hotstar app.