India 6-4 Belgium- Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2008

India recorded their second successive win at the 17th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup when they beat Belgium 6-4 in Ipoh. The game, which produced 10 goals, now holds the record for the highest scoring game in this tournament ( not overall), eclipsing Pakistan’s 6-3 win over New Zealand.

India, who had been found wanting in their penalty corner department in the last few games, made no such mistake this time as they converted all the four that were awarded to them in the first half. Sandeep Singh took India’s first penalty corner, and the rebound was sent in by Shivendra Singh. Ninth minute India 1-0 Belgium. Diwakar Ram, who had scored a brace against Canada, found the back of the net in the 22nd minute to double India’s lead. Alexandre de Sadeleer pulled one back for Belgium, but the Europeans had little else to cheer for in the first half, with India pumping in three more goals before the break. Sandeep Singh scored in the 29th and 35th minute, to add to his already impressive four goal tally, while S.V. Sunil scored in the 32nd minute.

At 5-1, one could not have been blamed for thinking that the game was all but over for the Belgians. Yet, they produced an inspiring second half performance, causing India to nearly drop two points. The Indian coach A.K. Bansal would have been livid with the way his boys played. Thomas Briels and Jerome Truyens pulled two more back , and Charles Vandewenghe made it 5-4 in the 61st minute. With time running out, the Belgians pushed for a fifth goal, but were unable to get it. India finally heaved a sigh of relief when Shivendra Singh scored his second two minutes before time to make the score 6-4.  A game that should have been won comfortably was very nearly messed up.

India 6-4 Belgium ( Shivendra Singh *2, Sandeep Singh *2, Diwakar Ram, S.V. Sunil/ Alexandre de Sadeleer, Thomas Briels *2, Charles Vandewenghe)

As for Belgium, it is their third consecutive loss, having been beaten by Argentina and Canada earlier. They are currently languishing at the bottom of the table with no points.

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