Bhubaneswar: Men’s hockey World Champions Belgium arrived here Wednesday evening for their FIH Pro League matches against India that will be played October 8 and 9 at the Kalinga Stadium. The city will definitely evoke happy memories among the Belgian players as it is here they won their world title defeating the Netherlands. After the final ended goalless in regulation time, Belgium won the shootout 3-2 to emerge World Champions. So they will certainly want to win both the games against India.
Belgium has so far played four games in the FIH Pro League. They defeated Australia in the first game on penalties. After the match ended 2-2 in regulation time, Belgium won on penalties 4-2. In the return game, they again defeated Australia 4-2 in regulation period. In the third and fourth matches they overcame New Zealand 6-2 and 3-1 respectively.
India on the other hand have played two games against the Netherlands winning the first one 5-2 and the second 3-1 in penalties (regulation time score 3-3).
Even though Belgium are ranked No. 1 and India No.5 it will not be a cakewalk for the World Champions. The present Indian squad under skipper Manpreet Singh have shown that they are a hard nut to crack. India have always played well at the Kalinga Stadium because of the support of the fans and Saturday and Sunday will not be an exception.