India lose 0-5 against Belgium in Champions Challenge 1
Brussels: The Indian women`s team was thrashed 5-0 by its counterparts from Belgium in a pool A match here at Champions Challenge 1.
The final match of the pool saw the relatively youthful teams of Belgium and India looking to score three points and put in a confidence-inducing performance.
India started with far more composure than in their previous two games, backing up coach Neil Hawgood`s assertion that his team needed more experience at international level.
For the majority of the first half, both teams played an expansive game, spreading play wide, but not really penetrating the opposition`s defensive circle. In the final 15 minutes of the half, Belgium won a trio of penalty corners, but was unable to convert the set plays into goals.
Savita Savita in the India goal did well, making several consecutive saves and marshalling her defence.
With two minutes left on the clock it was Belgium who broke the deadlock. A fantastic cross pitch ball from Alix Gerniers found Barbara Nelens, whose shot was deflected by Manon Simons (33`) past a floundering Savita.
India will be pleased that they showed their competitiveness at this level in the first half of the game, but Belgium`s class showed in the second half as Jill Boon (38`), Louise Versavel (41`), Emma Puvrez (64`) and Lieselotte van Lindt (69`) found the net.
Charlotte Vos, captain of the Belgium team paid tribute to her colleague Anouk Raes, who won Player of the Match.
"It was a great performance by Anouk, in fact by all the team. But tomorrow we play Spain, and for us that is the final. Every match from now on is a final."
India coach Neil Hawgood said: "The team stuck to the game plan for 31 minutes. When we went 2-0 down the game plan went out of the window. I have told the team, if they want to stand a chance against the USA tomorrow they have to stick to the plan for at least 60 minutes."
India will now clash against USA tomorrow in QF4.