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Belgium vs India Highlights, Women's FIH Pro League 2023-24: India go down after conceding two goals in three minutes

Published at :May 23, 2024 at 10:20 PM
Modified at :May 24, 2024 at 1:18 PM
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(Courtesy : Hockey India)

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After a heavy defeat against Argentina in their first match of the European leg in Women’s FIH Pro League 2023-24, the Indian women’s hockey team will be raring to go against Belgium in their second match. India are sixth in the standings with just eight points from nine matches. The Women in Blue have won just two matches so far and will be eager to register their third victory against Belgium on Thursday.

Indian women’s hockey team suffer heavy defeat against Argentina

The Indian Women’s Hockey Team started their European leg of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 with a 0-5 loss to Argentina. Agustina Gorzelany (13’), Valentina Raposo (24’), Victoria Miranda (41’), and Julieta Jankunas (53’, 59′) netted goals for Argentina.

In the opening quarter, India focused on maintaining ball possession and controlling the game’s pace. However, Argentina responded with intense pressure, earning multiple penalty corners, but they were unable to capitalise due to some excellent saves by Indian goalkeeper Bichu Devi Kharibam.

Also Read: Indian Junior Men’s Hockey team start European tour with thrilling win over Belgium

Despite this, Argentina continued to control the game, and Agustina Gorzelany (13’) eventually converted a penalty corner with a well-placed shot just before the quarter ended.

India started the second quarter with a determined effort to equalise, adopting an aggressive approach. However, Argentina’s solid defense and effective counter-attacks thwarted India’s attempts. Argentina further extended their lead when Valentina Raposo (24’) converted a penalty corner with a well-executed variation.

Sofia Toccalino trapped the injection, pushed it to the right channel, and set up Raposo, who struck a powerful hit on goal. By halftime, Argentina comfortably led 2-0, firmly in control.

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In the third quarter, India showed significant improvement, persistently pressuring Argentina and frequently testing their defense. They came close to scoring several times but narrowly missed. Argentina continued their offensive efforts and were rewarded when Victoria Miranda (41’) dribbled past Indian defenders and scored with an elevated shot, extending their lead to 3-0 by the end of the quarter.

During the fourth and final quarter, India focused on maintaining possession and making frequent circle entries. Deepika had a notable chance to score but her reverse hit was saved by Argentina’s goalkeeper Cristina Cosentino.

Argentina then switched to a counter-attacking strategy, which proved effective. Julieta Jankunas (53’) received a pass from Sofia Cairo, controlled the ball with her back to the goal, and fired it into the top corner, making it 4-0. Just before the match ended, Jankunas (59’) scored her second goal, sealing a 5-0 victory for Argentina.

The Indian Women’s Hockey Team will next take on Belgium at 2215hrs IST on 23rd May.

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