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Dazzling India die-out in the shoot out 0-3 (1/28/2018)
--s2h team
Indian forwards dazzled and broke the well-oiled Belgium defence four times, but their famed rival would not panic, but will come out with equally entertaining replies to drag them to the shoot out. In the shoot out, despite missing out the first, Belgium converted ext three while the first three Indians faltered. World number 3 outfit Belgium thus won the Hamilton 4-Nation's final 7-4 after full time score stood 4-4.

Indian bravehearts Harmanpreet Singh, Lalit Upadhyay and Rupinder Pal Singh failed in their shoot out quota thus gifting the title to Belgium.

The finals rose to the expected level, each team putting up their best form. If the first quarter was belonged to precise Belgium, India came up with vengeance in the second to score the match's first goal and thus moving for lemon time with the advantage.

Third quarter saw goal reigning in. There was a goal in each 41st, 42nd and 43rd minutes, enthralling fairly large crowd. Both teams utilized whatever chaces that came their way.

Last quarter was improvisation of the preceding one, four goals coming, each in just two minutes gap. If the Indians showed great nicety in striking goals with both Mandeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh coming out with their hitherto best, Belgium worked tirelessly to flummox the Indian defence. The goal that Sreejesh conceded to Amaury Keusters which saw Belgium drawing India 3-3 is a rare mistake from him.

Sreejesh hurried to clear a ball, and came upfront on the right side of the edge only to see a forward dodging him to send a pass past him which Amaury sent into the empty goal. Its an easy goal conceded. Varun Kumar tried in vain to intercept at this juncture.

When in the 52nd minute, Ramandee Singh struck his second goal, which gave India the lead fourth time in the match, it appeared India will close down the match. It was not to be.

Due to an infringement off a goalie rebound, Belgium got their seventh and last penalty corner. Jphn-John Dohmen pushed the ball perfectly, for Felix Danayer to effect a high ball which after hitting the left post bounced into the top net (4-4). This goal helped Belgium to take the Indians to shoot out.

Belgium here took revenge for their shoot-out loss in the Bhubneswar Hockey World League Final's quarterfinal, where Akash, Indian goalie, thrice blocked their shooters.

For the Indians who struck some breathtaking goals in the last sixty minutes, its an anticlimax and also indicator as to the miles India need to go before anchoring success.

The goal Mandeep Singh struck off a firm hit in from Surender Singh in the 42nd minute (3-2) is a beauty while the slap shot of Ramandeep Singh in a crowded defence (4-3) and then his first goal off Mandeep Singh's minus, a forehand, are things to relish, and should not be lost sight of in the melancholic mood that followed the failed shoot-out.

Played full time till then, Mandeep Singh for once tapped a long ball and surged into the circle deep on the right and then sent a strong minus near top edge of circle on the left where Ramandeep Singh trapped the ball perfectly and struck a reverse firmly to give India lead one minute and 25 seconds before the lemon time. With this wonderful and clinical goal, India went into the half time enjoying a goal lead.

It was Belgium all over India in the first quarter. Their methodical distribution of ball and possession got its dividends when they got a penalty corner midway through the quarter. Indian goalie PR Sreejesh bent fully upwards to block the firmly struck shot. It was followed by twin strikes, but the Indian defence managed to ward off.

Two minutes before the end of Q1, Dockier and Sreejesh locked themselves near right of the cage, agile Surender rescued India from any damage.

Belgium got another penalty corner in the early 14th minute, Sree again cleared but unable to concede another penalty.

All these moves fade into oblivion against what transpired in the third and fourth quarters: 3 goals in the 3rd and four goals in the last quarter!

India 29th min Ramandeep Singh 1 - 0
Belgium 41st min Tanguy Cosyns 1 - 1
India 42nd min Nilakanta Sharma 2 - 1
Belgium 43rd min C├ędric Charlier 2 - 2
India 49th min Mandeep Singh 3 - 2
Belgium 51st min Amaury Keusters 3 - 3
India 53rd min Ramandeep Sigh 4 - 3
Belgium 56th min Felix Denayer 4 - 4

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