India women team ended their Europe Tour on a winning note as they beat the Belgium junior men’s team 4-3 in a pulsating encounter at Antwerp on Monday. Gurjit Kaur got India off to a blistering start, slamming two goals in the space of 11 minutes. Captain Rani Rampal also bagged a brace to give the visitors their first win of the tour.
A rampant Indian team started the match with some enthralling attacking play as they earned a penalty corner in the seventh minute, which was converted expertly by drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur to give her side the lead. The defender extended India’s lead in the 11th minute as she converted another penalty corner to make it 2-0. Captain Rani also got on the score sheet as she scored a well taken field goal in the 13th minute to put India 3-0 up at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter began with goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu making her second diving save of the match to deny the Belgians from opening their account. India displayed grit and fight throughout the second quarter as they held onto their 3-0 lead at the end of 30 minutes. India started the third quarter with some high intensity play which paid off for them in the 33rd minute as Rani scored her second of the match to make it 4-0.
However, Belgium finally managed to get past India’s sturdy defence when Thibault Neven converted a penalty corner in the 38th minute to make it 1-4. The hosts then produced a great field goal in the 42nd minute through William Van Dessel as the third quarter ended with India leading 4-2.
The Belgium side continued to heap pressure in the fourth quarter as Mathias Relik converted a penalty corner giving them their third in the 48th minute to make it 3-4. It was a nervy last ten minutes for the visitors as Belgium netted the equaliser. However, the Indian team held their nerve to see out the win.
- India women 4 (Gurjit Kaur x 2, Rani Rampal x 2) beat Belgium junior men 3 (Thibault Neven, William Van Dessel, Mathias Relik)