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India win Champions Challenge II

Rani Rampal scored four goals as India women crushed Belgium 6-3 to win the inaugural Champions Challenge II hockey tournament in Kazan on Saturday.

india Updated: Jun 28, 2009 23:10 IST

Rani Rampal scored four goals as India women crushed Belgium 6-3 to win the inaugural Champions Challenge II hockey tournament in Kazan on Saturday.

Rani, who emerged as the tournament’s top-scorer with eight goals, struck in the 17th, 38th, 44th and 54th minutes.

Besides, Saba Anjum (20th min) and Thokchom Chanchan (49th min) scored a goal each. Skipper Valerie Vermeersch (40th, 52nd) and Boon Jill (55th) scored for Belgium.

India thus qualified for next year’s Champions Challenge I proper to be held in October in South Africa. India last played in Champions Challenge I, a qualification tournament for the elite Champions Trophy, in 2001 in Johannesburg and won a bronze medal.

India opened the scoring when Rani struck the first of her four goals in the final. and extended the lead three minutes later through a field goal by Anjum. After leading 2-0 at half time, India kept up the pressure in the second half.

Rani scored three minutes into the second half through a penalty corner before Belgium pulled one back through skipper Vermeersch’s short corner strike. Rani soon gave them a comfortable 4-1 cushion. Chanchan sounded the board for India before Rani made it 6-2 after Vermeersch converted another penalty corner. Boon Jill scored the last goal of the match for Belgium.