Belgium rallies to hold India to 4-4 draw | india | Hindustan Times
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Belgium rallies to hold India to 4-4 draw

india Updated: Jan 25, 2008 22:23 IST

PTI
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India squandered a 3-0 first-half advantage to play out a 4-4 draw against Belgium in their first of the five-test series at Mayor Radhakrishnan studium on Friday.

Tushar Khandekar (16th), Shivender Singh (20th) and Raghunath (23rd, 44th) scored for India, while Jerome Dekeyser (42nd, 64th), Thomas Briels (49th) and John Dohmen (59th) found the target for Belgium.

The two teams shared six penalty corners.

The Indians, who were leading 3-0 at half-time, paid the price of their complacency and were taken by surprise when the Belgians banged in two goals inside seven minutes in the second half.

The Indian domination was well pronounced, though the hosts were assessing their rivals in the first ten minutes.

The Belgians, on their part, were concentrating more on defending their citadel and did not have a single goal-worthy move in the first half.

Indian players were playing upfront with Dilip Tirkey guarding the hosts' area.

Belgian Coach Adam Commens' decision not to field his most experienced defender, Thierry Ranaer, who had played in over 300 internationals, proved costly as India were able to split the defence to score thrice in the first half.

Jerome Dekeyser, Loic Van Deweghe and John Dohmen were not effective and most often wilted under pressure.

But the visitors came back strongly in the second half and regrouped well in splitting the Indian defence to score four goals.

With the three defenders playing upfront in turns and their half-line working in tandem, the Belgians were able to free themselves from their respective marksmen to enter the Indian circle.