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India wards off a spirited challenge from Belgium

Ipoh (Malaysia): India warded off a spirited second half resurgence by Belgium to script a 6-4 victory and keep itself afloat in the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament here on Monday.

India opened up a flattering 5-1 lead by the half-time, but its opponent fought back brilliantly to score three goals in the second session.

Second win

But the young Indian team managed to hold on to its lead to record its second successive win in the seven-nation tournament.

Shivendra Singh and Sandeep Singh slammed two goals each, while S.V. Sunil and Diwakar Ram chipped in with a goal each in the fast-paced contest which saw India frittering away a few scoring opportunities.

Alexender de Sadeleere, Jerome Trueyns, Thomas Briels and Charles Vandewgheles were the scorers for Belgium which very nearly caught up with India in the second session.

India now has six points from four matches.

Belgian coach Adam Commens said the Indian drag-flickers made the difference in the match.

The results: India 6 (Shivendra Singh 9, 68, Diwakar Ram 22, Sandeep Singh 29, 35, S.V. Sunil 32) bt Belgium 4 (Alexandre de Sadeleer 24, Jerome Trueyns 45, Thomas Briels 59, Charles Vandeweghe 61).

Pakistan 2 (Rehan Butt 64, Muhammad Saqlain 67) bt Canada 1 (Bindi Kullar 1). — Agencies

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