Updated: June 20, 2015 11:26:05 pm
Indian women failed to capitalise on several openings and suffered a 0-1 loss to hosts Belgium in their opening match of the Hockey World League Semifinals here today.
A goal-line save by Stephanie de Groof from India’s first penalty corner in the 36th minute ensured that the Belgians held on to the lead they had earned just a minute ago from a penalty corner conversion at the other end.
Indian goalkeeper Savita saved two shots from De Groof before Belgian captain Lieselotte van Lindt capitalised on the rebound with a diagonal shot into the net in the 35th minute.
The Indian women, who had grimly held on against some early Belgian raids, forced their first penalty corner within a minute of conceding the goal. Deepika Kumari’s penalty corner drive was blocked by diving goalkeeper Aisling D’Hooghe, sending the round to captain Ritu Rani whose flick was heading into the goal, but for a diving clearance by De Groof.
The Indians, ranked one spot behind Behind Belgium’s number 12 world ranking, pushed hard and created some openings, but the equaliser eluded them in the Group B match.
Against a team that fell back to bolster their defence, India managed to force a penalty corner in the 42nd minute, but the set-piece was not executed well and the ball got cleared.
The Indians had earlier successfully appealed for a back-stick to get a Belgian goal cancelled in the first quarter.
In the other Group B match, Gemma Flynn slammed four goals as New Zealand fired a dozen goals past Poland.
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