London: Indian captain PR Sreejesh’s lacklustre show under the bar saw the team succumb to a 1-2 defeat by Belgium in the 36th Champions Trophy at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre here on Monday.
Sreejesh would be disappointed to concede two goals through his pads against the dominant Belgians, resulting in India’s first loss in three outings of the ongoing Champions Trophy.
Alexander Hendrickx converted a penalty corner in the 25th minute and India equalised through Devender Walmiki five minutes later, but Jerome Truyens won the day for the Belgians through his field goal in the 44th.
This loss leaves India on four points from three outings. They will now play South Korea on Tuesday.
This was the first win for Belgium in three outings. They join India and hosts Great Britain on four points each from three matches.
Britain outplayed South Korea 4-1 for their first win in the tournament, while world champions Australia consolidated their position atop the standings with a 4-3 victory over Germany.
Australia are now on seven points, while Germany are at the bottom of the standings with just two points. South Korea have logged three points in as many games.
Goals from German captain Florian Fuchs in the 12th minute and Tobias Hauke in the 14th gave Germany a two-goal lead in the first quarter before Australia’s strikers got into action.
Glenn Turner (17tth) and Tristian White (22nd) made flash strikes for Australia in the space of five minutes to draw parity, but an open play goal by Fuchs put the Germans ahead in the 30th minute.
In the fast-paced encounter, a part of which was played in rain, Australia gradually seized the initiative. Blake Govers restored parity at 3-3 with a penalty corner conversion in the 40th minute, and the match-winner came through a field goal by Aran Zalewski in the 51st minute.
German’s desperate attempts to equalise failed to produce results as the Australian compact defence did not give anything away.
The loss seems to have dashed Germany’s hopes of making the final as they now have just two points from three games. David Condon scored two goals for Great Britain, who opened the scoring through a seventh minute penalty stroke conversion by Ashley Johnson. The stroke was awarded because of an obstruction committed on captain Barry Middleton in the goalmouth by goalkeeper Hong Doo-pyo.
Condon leaned forward to deflect a cross from left for Britain’s second goal in the 18th minute, but the Koreans shot back with a penalty corner conversion by You Seung-ju four minutes later.
Alistair Brogdon got into goal-scoring action in the 33rd minute on a penalty corner and Condon rounded off the scoring with another field goal in the 46th.