New Delhi, 7 July: India with 30 points from 16 matches finished fourth in the FIH Pro League 2022-23 which was won by the defending champion the Netherlands((35 points).  Britain (32 points) ended as the runners up while Belgium, with 30 points, were placed above India in the table, having more wins (10 vs India’s eight).
Ace drag-flicker and India captain Harmanpreet Singh had the distinction of being the top-scorer of the league with 18 goals. The penalty corner specialist had also topped the goal-scoring charts last season with the same number of strikes.
The men in blue had a podium finish in the last edition of the league as they were placed third.However, in their debut season in 2020-21 they were fourth

It turned out to be a tale of two halves for the Harmanpreet-led side in this season. In the first leg of the season played at home, India was a  dominating side winning five, drawing two and losing a single match. The solitary defeat in their home leg was a 3-2 loss against Spain in Bhubaneswar.

The results included some impressive victories, including a double (3-2 and 6-3) over reigning world champions Germany. Against Commonwealth Games champions Australia, the hosts won the first match 5-4 before drawing the second 2-2. before winning the shootout 4-3.

The away leg, played in Europe, however, didn’t prove as fruitful. India was leading the League points table going into the European leg of their fixtures played in London and Eindhoven. 

However, the Men-in- blue team lost ground after managing just three wins, four defeats and one draw from the eight away games.

India’s wins came against Argentina (2) and Belgium (1). However, they lost both their matches against eventual champions Netherlands.

Harmanpreet led side beat Argentina 2-0 to end their campaign placed at the top of the points table with 30 points from 16 outings but it was not enough to win them their maiden title. Other teams later won their games in hand to overtake India in the standings.

New Zealand, with just three points, finished last and were relegated to the Nations Cup for the next season.

Interestingly, India won all three of their shootouts in this season's league, 3-1 against Spain, 4-3 against Australia and 4-2 against Britain.


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