Luypaert predicts tough encounter


Bhubaneswar: In spite of their recent record against the men in Blue, Belgium’s high flying forward and top scorer of the tournament so far with seven goals, Loick Luypaert is aware of the threat India could pose for them in the quarterfinals of the HWLF when the two times face, Wednesday.

India have lost the last four games against Belgium even though they possess a better overall record with 45 wins in 71 games. And Luypaert is of the opinion that India can’t simply be written off on the basis of one poor game against Germany.

“India have played well against both Australia and England. They did not do so well against Germany though. They are a young and strong unit and will be playing with tremendous support. So on the basis of the German match, we cannot just write them off,” Luypaert said after the game against the Netherlands, Tuesday.

Luypaert was quick to point out that they had not expected to face India so early in the tournament. “Frankly speaking, we thought we would face themselves in the semifinals or finals,” he pointed out.

“The last time we played India in Bhubaneswar was during the Champions Trophy, a game which we lost. So considering the home support they will receive, we expect a very tough game indeed,” the forward signed off.

However, the fact is that India will have to improve in every department of the game to pose a threat to Belgium who are in belligerent form. Coach Sjoerd Marijne is aware of what lies in store for the team if they don’t raise their game a couple of notches. “We have to improve in all aspects… conversion of penalty corners, taking shots at goal,” Marijne had said after the game against Germany.  The most important aspect, however, is to improve their team game.

Modern hockey doesn’t have any superstars. The entire team is the ‘superstar’ now. Germany showed it the other day against India; Belgium may do an encore Wednesday. Unless of course, Team India turn into a superstar.

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