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Big Belgium puzzle before India at Breda (6/28/2018)
--s2h team
No country did trouble India in the current decade as that of neopower Belgium. Not merely the statistics but also the quality behind their suzerainty over India substantiate the view. India need to fight both recent history and mental block to overcome today's Breda rival.

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India had just managed to win only four out of last 20 meetings.

Just two matches were drawn, including one in the quarterfinal of last year's Hockey World League finals in Bhubneswar.

The victories are as significant for India as its loses, keeping the context in mind.

India's four wins in last 20 matches that stretches from December 2011 includes two quarterfinal wins. First happened at Melbourne after London Olympics. This is of insignificant as India went down 0-3 in London three months before.

One quarterfinal that India clinched against Belgium is at Bhubneswar after both teams drew 3-3 int he regulation time, and India's Sreejesh coming with colours in the ensued shoot out.

Here too, what is significant is the quarterfinal of Rio Olympics. Despite scoring the only goal of the match till half time, India went down tamely conceding three goals in the other to end their Olympic dream on a sad note.

This year India and Belgium met four times, all in New Zealand double leg-nation. After losing league and final in Tauranga, India won one high-scoring match (5-4) but only to lose the shoot out despite come back kid Sreejesh under goal in the final.

The final played at Wellington on 28th January also turned out to be a high scoring one (4-4). undefined

Over all, Belgium dominated India. On occasions India stretched them they came out with some counter to clinch wins in the crucial matches, much like the seventy minutes goal at Hague World Cup that gave the red shirts 4-3 win in the pool.

India and Belgium, though the latter is somewhat struggling what with 1-6 drubbing at the hands of The Dutch, has everything to be a hot affair, high scoring match. Whether Harendra Singh's India can pull out a surprise today is a million dollar question.

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