India held Belgium to a 2-2 draw in their second Pool C match at the Hockey World Cup
Sports Talk Dec 5, 2018
Outplayed and outfoxed in the primary half, trailed by a stunning show of character and fightback after the break, before at last enabling their adversaries to get up to speed once more.
This was more or less the story of India’s second Pool C match against world number 3 Belgium on Sunday, 2 December. The winner of this crucial encounter in the Hockey World Cup would have virtually sealed a quarter-final berth.
There were plenty of twists, turns and drama as India and Belgium played out an intense and hard-fought 2-2 draw that left the hosts in a slightly favourable position ahead of their final pool match against Canada on 8 December.
India began the World Cup with a resounding 5-0 victory over South Africa but the true test was to come against the world number 3 Belgium.
On paper, the Belgian Red Lions – Rio Olympic silver medallists and one of the most technically sound teams in world hockey at present – were favourites to win this match. Recent history too pointed towards it, with India managing to beat Belgium just once in the last eight matches between the two teams.