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Hockey World Cup, India vs Belgium, Highlights: As It Happened

News18.com | December 2, 2018, 9:15 PM IST
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Catch all the live action from the Hockey World Cup 2018 Pool C match between India and Belgium at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

Preview: Their World Cup campaign off to a bright start, India will be optimistic of clearing a stern test awaiting them Sunday in the form of world number three Belgium, to guarantee a direct entry into the quarterfinals.
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Dec 2, 2018 8:32 pm (IST)

That's the end of the final quarter and the game ends 2-2. That was a very good game of hockey and this means the top spot in the group is still up for grabs. India's superior goal difference mean they have a slight advantage in that regard but both sides will be disappointed not to run away with three points. 

Dec 2, 2018 8:26 pm (IST)

Oh dear. Belgium are level courtesy of a goal from Simon Gougnard with a little less than 4 minutes to go. 

Dec 2, 2018 8:25 pm (IST)

5 more minutes left now. It's worth noting that India have not actually sat back and defended but rather seem keen to get another goal so as to kill the game off altogether. That's always good to see. 

Dec 2, 2018 8:21 pm (IST)

There are 8 minutes left in the final quarter and all India need to do is hang on to this lead and they will have one foot in the quarterfinals of the tournament. This will be a big win should it come. 

Dec 2, 2018 8:15 pm (IST)

GOAL! Simranjeet has scored early in the final quarter to give India the lead. He rounds off a fine move with a tap-in from close range. Can India dare to dream of winning this? 

Dec 2, 2018 8:13 pm (IST)

The final quarter is underway and we are set for a pulsating final 15 minutes in the match. 

Dec 2, 2018 8:12 pm (IST)

End of the third quarter and India are level at 1-1. The final quarter is going to be key now as the team who can score first in the last 15 minutes will all but certainly end the game as winners. 

Dec 2, 2018 8:07 pm (IST)

Less than 4 minutes left in the penultimate quarter of the game and the scores are still level. India have a habit of scoring in the third quarter but also tend to concede in the final quarter. 

Dec 2, 2018 8:03 pm (IST)

GOAL! The penalty stroke has been converted by Harmanpreet and India are back in this game. Can't say that goal wasn't coming; India have been attacking well throughout the half. 

Dec 2, 2018 8:01 pm (IST)

India have been growing in stature in this quarter and they manage to win another penalty corner. The attempt is a good one but Varun's shot is well defended and the PC that follows earns the home side a penalty stroke! 

Dec 2, 2018 7:55 pm (IST)

India have made a strong start to the second half and they have looked likely to score every time they are on the attack. They earn a penalty corner thanks to some excellent work from Manpreet - their first of the game. Sadly Harmanpreet fires the shot just over from the PC. 

Dec 2, 2018 7:50 pm (IST)

The third quarter is underway. Can India find a goal or two in this half? We shall see soon enough. 

Dec 2, 2018 7:39 pm (IST)

That is half-time and Belgium are leading 1-0. The scoreline might suggest it has been a close game but Belgium have been the more dominant side by quite a margin. They have kept the ball better and created more chances. India have some work to do in the second half. 

Dec 2, 2018 7:36 pm (IST)

The second half is coming to a close and Belgium look untroubled. They have held more than 60% of the possession so far while India have looked laboured in their build up. 

Dec 2, 2018 7:30 pm (IST)

India come close as Akashdeep gets into a good position inside the D but takes a shot from a tight angle rather than teeing off Lalit, which leaves coach Harendra frustrated. 

Dec 2, 2018 7:25 pm (IST)

The second quarter is underway and India will look to get a goal and get back into the game before the end of the first half. They came close in the end of the first quarter and will need to keep up the good attacking play to create more chances. 

Dec 2, 2018 7:22 pm (IST)

The last few seconds of the first quarter sees Mandeep miss a golden chance from just a few yards out as the 'keeper made a very good save. It's the end of the first quarter and India lead 1-0. 

Dec 2, 2018 7:18 pm (IST)

Conceding the goal seems to have brought some purpose to the home side's attacking play but the Belgium defence isn't being tested too much at this point. More of the same is needed for the hosts. 

Dec 2, 2018 7:14 pm (IST)

Third time is the charm! Belgium get their third penalty corner after another successful referral and they convert this time around. Silence falls around the Kalinga Stadium thanks to Alexander Hendrix. 

Dec 2, 2018 7:11 pm (IST)

India have been on the back foot for the most part of the first quarter and that does not look like stopping any time soon. Belgium have been relentless in attack and have dominated possession. 

Dec 2, 2018 7:06 pm (IST)

It is Belgium who have started the game strongly, winning two penalty corners early on. It's been all about the away side in the opening few minutes of the match. India need to regroup at the earliest. 

Dec 2, 2018 7:01 pm (IST)

The national anthems have been belted out and the match is now underway! India will look to get off the mark quickly and maybe score an early goal to put pressure on the away side straight away. 

Dec 2, 2018 6:54 pm (IST)

The beginning of the match is only minutes away now. The winner of this match will be in a good position to qualify directly for the quarterfinals. Belgium are favourites but India have the home advantage.  

Dec 2, 2018 6:45 pm (IST)

Speaking about the areas that India need to guard against Belgium on Sunday, the India coach said: "We need to take care about the vertical hockey Belgium plays. They don't play parallel hockey of playing the ball back. So, we need to concentrate on that." 

Dec 2, 2018 6:40 pm (IST)

Asked about Belgium's threat, Harendra said India need to play to its strength to come out victorious on Sunday. "If we look at their graph in the last 4-5 years, Belgium is a good team. We have to play according to the situation," he said. "In the last 5-6 months the Indian team has set a trademark of playing attacking hockey which is our weapon and we won't compromise on that." 

Dec 2, 2018 6:35 pm (IST)

Since 2013, India do not have a good record against Belgium, having won just five and suffered defeats on 13 occasions with one game ending in a draw. The away side definitely start the game as favourites. 

Dec 2, 2018 6:30 pm (IST)

"I don't feel any pressure. If you enjoy that pressure you will succeed. What I feel is that for me tomorrow is our pre-quarterfinal match and if we want to directly go into the quarterfinals we will have to win tomorrow," Harendra said on Saturday. "We have discussed that in our team meeting and we will take one match at a time." 

Dec 2, 2018 6:26 pm (IST)

As per the format of the tournament, the table-toppers from the four pools will directly qualify for the quarterfinals while the second and third placed teams will play in the cross-overs for a place in the last-eight round. 

Dec 2, 2018 6:21 pm (IST)

With India notching up a 5-0 win over South Africa in their opener and Belgium beating Canada 2-1, the hosts just need a victory over the Red Lions to secure their place in the quarters and avoid the cross-overs. 

Dec 2, 2018 6:16 pm (IST)

India are placed in Pool C alongside reigning Olympic silver medallist Belgium, South Africa and Canada and the table toppers will directly qualify for the last-eight round. 

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Hockey World Cup, India vs Belgium, Highlights: As It Happened
(Twitter)

Seeking to rewrite history after 43 years, the Indian men's hockey team made a strong start in the elite 16-nation tournament, with a 5-0 thrashing of South Africa on Wednesday.

Rio Olympic silver medallist Belgium were far from impressive in their fighting 2-1 win over lowly Canada.

Eight-time Olympic champions India's only World Cup crown came way back in 1975.

The hosts produced a fine display of attacking hockey to outclass South Africa and would look to continue in the same vein, although consistency is something India has always lacked.

Come Sunday, the Indians will have to be at their best in all departments to get the better of the ever-improving Red Lions, who will be out to prove a point after a not-so-impressive opener.

The Indian forward line comprising Mandeep Singh, Simranjeet Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Lalit Upadhyay impressed against South Africa. While Simranjeet scored a brace, all three other strikers struck a goal each.

The Manpreet Singh-led midfield and the backline too did a decent job the other day but defenders Harmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Surender Kumar and goalkeeper P R Sreejesh will have to be on their toes against the attacking Belgians.

World number five India would also look to better their head-to-head record against Belgium. Since 2013, both teams have played against each other on 19 occasions with India registering five wins as against Belgium's 13. One ended in a draw.

The last time the two teams played each other was in the final edition of the Champions Trophy earlier this year in Breda, Netherlands where India conceded a late goal to settle for a 1-1 draw.

The magnitude of a World Cup match is different and both teams are aware that a single mistake can ruin their hopes and aspirations.

Going into the match, penalty corner conversion remains a concern for both the teams as India made use of only one out of five against South Africa, while Belgium wasted the two set pieces that came their way against Canada.

India scored from an indirect try by Mandeep from the penalty corner as Harmanpreet's direct flick failed to crash into the opposition net.

But India's chief coach Harendra Singh is not that worried about the lack of direct goals from penalty corners, saying he is happy as long as goals are coming.

"We scored a mixture of beautiful field goals and penalty corners. Yes, we didn't score direct from penalty corners but how we score doesn't matter," Harendra had said.

The coach said against Belgium the Indian strikers will need to capitalise on the chances the way they did against South Africa.

"If you think only about goals then you run for the goals and forget your basics and structure. You need to avail the opportunity that comes your way," he added.

Belgium has made giant strides in world hockey in the last decade and has been among the top teams but a big title has eluded them.

Having scored less in their opener, Belgium coach Shane McLoed said the game against India is a "must-win" for them if they are to top Pool C and avoid cross-overs.

"We have got the three points. We may not have the goal difference we wanted so the game against India becomes a must-win game for us," he said.

"The game against India would demand us to take a step or a couple of steps up otherwise we can't be competitive."

In another Pool C match, Canada will play South Africa.
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