New Delhi: The senior Indian women’s hockey team achieved a unique feat on Monday when they defeated the junior Belgium men’s team to cap-off their Europe tour on a high.
The Indian girls began on an attacking note scoring three goals in the first 15 minutes and then made it 4-0 after half-time before the hosts launched a late attempt to win, but it eventually ended 4-3 in India’s favour.
It was Gurjit Kaur who helped India open the scoring in the 7th minute after she fired from a penalty corner and then doubled the lead through another PC conversion four minutes later.
Captain Rani Rampal stepped up next to make it 3-0 through a field goal and at the end of first quarter, India kept their big lead intact.
Belgium tried hard to cut India’s lead but were denied by Rajani Etimarpu. In the second quarter both the teams failed to find the mark, leaving the score 3-0 in India’s favour at half-time.
Three minutes into the third quarter, 33rd minute, India made it 4-0 thanks to skipper Rani’s sublime finish.
With 4-0 down, Belgium soon found the much-needed opening goal through Thebault Neven’s PC strike in the 38th minute. The hosts then produced a field goal in the 42nd minute as William Van Dessel scored. The third quarter ended with India leading 4-2.
The Belgium men carried on the scoring momentum in the fourth quarter as Mathias Relik converted a PC in the 48th minute to make it 3-4. In the nervous final ten minutes, India held firm amid continuous pressure from the hosts to eke out a well-deserved victory.
Sjoerd Marijne, who has been appointed as men’s team coach, took to Twitter and said he enjoyed coaching the women’s team in his last match as their coach. “Enjoyed coaching the last match with The Indian Women’s Team. Proud of them [sic],” he tweeted.
The Indian women’s team had earlier settled for a 2-2 draw against the junior Belgium men’s team besides losing both their matches against Ladies Den Bosch on the tour of Europe.