Indian Hockey Men’s and Women’s Teams lose to host Belgium in FIH Pro League

FIH Pro League

In the European leg of the FIH Pro League 2023-24 season, both the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams faced defeat against host nation Belgium in Antwerp.

FIH Pro League: Men’s team 1-4 loss to Belgium

The men’s team, led by Harmanpreet Singh, had recently celebrated a victory over Argentina in a shootout. However, they couldn’t replicate their success against the Olympic champions Belgium, losing the match 1-4.

For Belgium, Alexander Hendrickx scored twice, while Felix Denayer and Cedric Charlier also contributed with a goal each. Abhishek managed to score a consolation goal for India five minutes from the final hooter.

Despite the loss, India holds the third position in the FIH Pro League 2023-24 standings with 17 points from 10 matches. Belgium is currently seventh with six points from as many games.

FIH Pro League: Consecutive losses to Women’s team

Earlier in the day, the women’s team, led by Salima Tete, also went down 0-2 to the host. This was a second straight loss for the women’s team after their 0-5 defeat against Argentina in their opening match. In the women’s standings, India is sixth with eight points in 10 games, while Belgium is seventh with six points in six games.

The men’s team will look to improve upon their bronze medal performance from Tokyo 2020 in the upcoming Paris Olympics. On the other hand, the women’s team, then led by goalkeeper Savita Punia, failed to qualify for the Paris Olympics after finishing fourth in the qualifiers in Ranchi in January.

Harendra Singh, the new head coach for the women’s team, is on his first assignment. This comes after the resignation of the previous head coach, Janneke Schopman.

Both the men’s and women’s teams will face Belgium again in the reverse fixture on Saturday. These matches will be crucial in determining their journey in the World Cup Qualifiers.

Also Read: India announces 27-Member Squad for Sunil Chhetri’s farewell match against Kuwait