Hockey: India stun Belgium, Sreejesh shows class


Photo Credit Twitter Hockey India

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, June 11: In the Tokyo Olympics, Indian men’s hockey team looked set for gold until Belgium broke the hearts of over a billion people in the country.

Sreejesh Parattu Raveendran, the mainstay of the Indian hockey team, was devastated after the semi-final loss to Belgium. The consolation in Tokyo was a bronze medal.

On Saturday, Sreejesh proved a wall too big for the Belgium team to scale as India stunned the world champion to win in the penalty strokes after the two teams scored three goals each in 90-minute.

India won the match after a decisive save from Sreejesh to settle the game for the men in blue with 5-4 score lines.

Making it clear that India had learned the lessons from the Tokyo loss, Belgium sweated through the first half while the two teams had 1-1 score line.

The FIG Pro League 2021-22 match saw the Belgians raiding the Indian half but Sreejesh was ever agile and quick with his feet to send back the men in white rushing back to their half with quick moves.

India in fact had been trailing when Jarmanpreet levelled the score line 3-3 before the whistle went off.

Indiam men’s hockey team had been trailing 1-3 against Belgium while only eight minutes were left in the game and the fans in the stand began thinking that they were against witnessing a repeat of the Tokyo heart-break even while the men in blue have proven to be a world beating team.

India had lost the semi-final match in the Tokyo Olympics 2-5 to Belgium. The dream of the Indian fans that India will again feature in the final match after the 1980 Olympics had been shattered by the marauding Belgians. The Indian team then was seen clueless to the power and muscle of Alexander Hendrickx who keep sending crashing drag-flicks past Sreejesh in the Indian nets.

But Sreejesh on Saturday didn’t let the magic of the stick of Hendrickx break the hearts of Indian fans as he denied the Belgian chances to score.

For India, Shamsher Singh and Harmanpreet Singh has scored the first two goals while the equaliser came from Jarmanpreet Singh.

Charlier Cedric, Gaugnard Simon and De Kerpel Nicolas scored the three goals. Hendrickx went without a goal in his name.

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