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Indian men and women teams lose to Belgium in FIH Hockey Pro League

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Lausanne, Switzerland: Indian men and women teams lost to Belgium in the FIH Hockey Pro League season in Antwerep, Belgium on Thursday. Belgium’s men after their upset loss to Ireland on Wednesday as they claimed an emphatic win over India. This is how the day’s action unfolded…

(Women’s) USA 4 – 5 Argentina

Argentina had to work hard for a 5-4 win against the USA in an enthralling match. The bottom-of-the-table Americans came out confidently and had arguably the better first half, but Argentina were clinical and scored from their only three opportunities of the half. Agustina Gorzelany put Argentina ahead with a powerful drag flick in the 9th minute, but Ashley Hoffman hit back seconds later with a low drag flick. The USA then paid the price for a slight drop in intensity, Gorzelany bagging another drag flick goal in the 20th minute, and Maria Granatto adding a penalty corner deflection a minute later. Sassa kept the USA in touch though, sliding in at the post to complete a good team goal in the 24th minute.

Elizabeth Yeager equalised for the USA with an accurate drag flick in the 36th minute, but another defensive lapse allowed Jankunas Julieta to steal a field goal and restore Argentina’s lead. The Americans stayed positive, and Abigail Tamer drew them level with a scrambled field goal from an impossible angle to set up a close finish. Argentina had the final say, however, Eugenia Trinchinetti scoring an unstoppable penalty corner deflection at the right post with just two minutes remaining.

Argentina’s Eugenia Trinchinetti was named Player of the Match and said: “We know that USA is a really good team and they run a lot, so we have to run more than them… Yesterday our defence was really good, and today it was not, so we have to see the images and make corrections.”

(Women’s) Belgium 2 – 0 India

Hosts Belgium were accurate when it mattered, claiming a solid 2-0 victory over India. The first half served up some excellent hockey from both teams. Belgium forced a couple of poor touches from the Indian defence, and India threatened with genuine pace on attack, but there were few real opportunities.

Belgium assumed control in the third quarter, breaking the deadlock in the 34th minute when Alexia ‘T Serstevens cleaned up the scraps off the goalkeeper’s pads. Louise Dewaet extended the lead two minutes later, scoring her first senior international goal with a skilful circle entry and a crisp shot. India threatened the Belgian goal in the dying seconds of the third quarter and early in the fourth, but came away empty-handed. The Belgians regained control in the closing stages, and while there were half-chances at both ends of the pitch there were no more goals.

Belgium’s Louise Dewaet was named Player of the Match and said: “In the first half we were doubting a bit, we were stepping backwards in the press, and I think in the second half we knew we had to step up. If you put them under pressure you win a lot of balls and make a lot of chances, so I think that was the difference.”

(Men’s) Argentina 3 – 1 Ireland

The Argentinians needed all their experience to absorb sustained pressure from Ireland and secure a 3-1 win. The first half was high paced and evenly contested with opportunities created by both teams. Jamie Carr put in an excellent shift in the Irish goal as Argentina gained the ascendancy towards half time, only for Lucas Martinez to beat him with just 12 seconds left on the clock, pouncing on a loose Irish pass into their own circle.

Ireland bossed the Argentinians for long periods of the second half, pegging them back in their own third but ultimately struggled to breach the defence. Argentina broke out in the 43rd minute, two long passes up field finding Martinez who deflected in for his second. Bautista Capurro then showed excellent skill to penetrate the circle and follow his pass, finishing from close range in the 47th. Luke Madeley pulled one back for Ireland from a penalty corner on 51 minutes, but Argentina took control in the final 10 minutes and shut Ireland out.

Argentina’s Lucas Martinez received the Player of the Match award for his two goals and said: “I keep working the same work rate, so happy to score. The first one was a rebound, I didn’t realise the ball went in. The second one was a bit of a dirty ball that I tried to tap in and it worked.”

(Men’s) Belgium 4 – 1 India

Belgium’s Loïck Luypaert celebrated his 300th cap in front of his home crowd with an emphatic 4-1 win over a fiery India. The Red Lions dominated the opening half, pressing India aggressively and creating good opportunities throughout. They survived a scare in the 20th minute, making four saves on the line from an Indian penalty corner before Felix Denayer scooped one into the net in the 22nd minute.

The second half was played at an incredible pace as India tried to find a way back into the match, but it was Alexander Hendrickx who extended Belgium’s lead with a rocketed drag flick in the 34th minute. Cédric Charlier then slammed in a field goal from a sensational Denayer pass in the 49th minute. Abishek snatched one back for India with an exceptional piece of individual brilliance with 5 minutes remaining. But Hendrickx had the last word for Belgium, slotting in a penalty stroke in the final minute to wrap up an impressive bounce-back victory after being stunned by minnows Ireland a day earlier.

Player of the match was Cédric Charlier of Belgium who said: “I think it’s a way better performance today compared to yesterday. Often it’s like that with us when we haven’t played for quite long together, we need a little bit of time to get back to the rhythm that we want… I think you saw a Belgian team that was eager to put pressure.”

Top Scorer Armband

To celebrate the talented goal-scorers throughout the season the FIH introduced the Top Scorer Armband, which is being worn by the leading goal-scorers in the men’s and women’s competitions as a visual mark for the fans, and for the players to wear proudly, match after match.

Current Top Scorers:

Women – Yibbi Jansen (NED) (15 goals)

Men – Jip Janssen (NED) (9 goals)

FIH Hockey Pro League – 23 May 2024

Sportcentrum Wilrijkse Plein-Antwerp, (BEL)

To see the current standings in the FIH Hockey Pro League, click here.

WOMEN

Result: Match 35 (W)

United States 4 – 5 Argentina

Player of the match: Eugenia Trinchinetti (ARG)

Umpires: Annelize Rostron (RSA), Raphaël Adrien (GER), Sarah Wilson (SCO-video)

Result: Match 36 (W)

Belgium 2 – 0 India

Player of the match: Louise Dewaet (BEL)

Umpires: Rachel Williams (ENG), Kamile Mockaityte (LTU), Alison Keogh (IRL-video)

MEN

Result: Match 35 (M)

Argentina 3 – 1 Ireland

Player of the match: Lucas Martinez (ARG)

Umpires: Ole Ingwersen (GER), Jonas Van’T Hek (NED), Ben Goentgen (GER-video)

Result: Match 36 (M)

Belgium 4 – 1 India

Player of the match: Cédric Charlier (BEL)

Umpires: Ben Goentgen (GER), Sean Edwards (ENG), Jonas Van’T Hek (NED-video)

-FIH

 

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