Hockey: India U-23 play out 1-1 draw vs Belgium

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Antwerp (Belgium), July 18 (IANS) India’s U-23 men’s team were held to a 1-1 draw by Belgium in their third round robin match of the Five Nations Tournament here.

India had a mixed bag of results in their first two matches of the tournament as they beat Ireland 5-0 in their first match, but lost 1-3 to Great Britain in the second match.

However, a strong performance against the hosts was needed and the Indian forwards did not disappoint as they produced an attacking display in the first two quarters on Tuesday.

The junior team were rewarded for their constant pressure on Belgium when striker Mohammad Umar found space in the striking circle and put the ball into the back of the net at the stroke of half-time.

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The third quarter, however, saw the hosts produce a quick reply to India taking the lead, as Syril Frying cancelled out the lead in the 34th minute to level the scores.

Both the teams had their chances in the final quarter of the match, but neither could capitalise the chances and the match ended in a draw, which means that India will need to win their last round robin match against the Netherlands on Friday to have a chance of qualifying for the Final match of the U-23 Five Nations Tournament.

–IANS

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