India begin with a draw

In an evenly matched Pool A encounter, India sprung to life with three second-half goals in the space of 12 minutes but twice allowed the Belgians to draw level.

India’s goals came from Rupinder Pal Singh (45th minute), Chingelnsana Singh (48th) and V R Raghunath (57th).  Belgium struck through Alexandre de Paeuw (31st minute) and Tom Boon (55th) before Xavier Rekinger pulled them level in the 69th minute, firing in a rebound off a penalty corner.

Belgium, who have already secured their passage to the London Olympics, opened the scoring through De Paeuw, who capitalised on a diagonal ball and sent in a reverse hit beating goalkeeper Bharat Chetri. After the break, Rupinder failed to convert India’s first penalty corner in the 44th minute but his flick following a goalmouth scrimmage a minute later helped India equalise.

India were up 2-1 in the 48th minute when Chingelnsana came up with a reverse flick to beat a bewildered Belgian goalkeeper David van Rysseberghe. Belgium restored parity through a 55th minute penalty corner strike by Tom Boon but India were again ahead in the 57th minute as Raghunath’s drag-flick beat the Belgian custodian.

Pressing hard, the Belgians benefitted from some display of nerves by the Indian defence, earning them two penalty corners in the dying minutes. Rekinger’s reverse hit then went in after Chetri had blocked two previous shots off a penalty corner.
In other matches in Pool B, Pan American champions Argentina were held to a 2-2 draw by Japan while Canada prevailed 3-1 over Asian Games silver medallists Malaysia.
Argentina, at World No 8 the highest ranked team playing here, took an early lead when Lucas Cammareri scored a field goal in the 12th minute. Japan struck back with  two goals in the 54th and 63rd minutes through Katsuyoshi Nagasawa and Toshiro Tachibana to take a 2-1 lead before a desperate Argentina managed to get a late equaliser thouirgh Lucas Argento Innocente.

Fine second-half deflections by Sukhwinder Singh and Iain Smythe earned Canada their victory after being 1-1 level with Malaysia at half-time.

Canada opened the scoring in the eighth minute through a Scott Tupper penalty corner but Malaysia fought back and managed to draw level just three minutes from half-time through Amin Rahim, who breached the Canadian defence with a rising drag-flick that ended in the net.

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