Hockey: India beat Belgium 3-2; take 1-0 lead
New Delhi: Sandeep Singh struck twice and custodian Bharat Chetri saved a penalty stroke to steer India to a 3-2 win over hosts Belgium in the second hockey Test in Antwerp.
The win secured India an unassailable 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
The two teams had played a 3-3 draw in the opening Test.
Sandeep (26th and 67th minutes) converted two penalty corners while skipper Rajpal Singh scored a field goal in the 39th minute.
For the hosts the goal scorers were Cedric Charlier (10th min) and Thomas Briels (55th min).
Belgium began aggressively and earned the first of their three penalty corners in the 3rd minute when Gurbaj Singh wrongly tackled Jerome Dekeyser.
Captain Jerome Truyens' dragflick found the hand of Vikas Pillay which resulted in a penalty stroke.
Indian goalkeeper Chetri brought off a splendid save with his stick high on the right from Greg Gucassaoff.
India continued to lose possession with faulty passing and trapping and were unable to mark the Belgium forwards initially.
Belgium scored their first goal when Charlier struck in the 10th minute after receiving a long pass from deep defender Alexandre De Saedeleer.
India were lucky not to concede another goal shortly after as John Verdussen shot wide.
Indian nearly got the equaliser when Rajpal broke through the Belgium defense from the right flank but his cross went abegging as Tushar Khandker was a trifle slow to intercept.
India made it 1-1 in the 33rd minute with a penalty corner conversion by Sandeep in the 33rd minute.