A lacklustre Indian women's hockey team eked out a 1-1 draw against Belgium to avoid a second consecutive defeat in the women's competition of the FIH World League Round 3 on Friday.
Anupa Barla saved the day for India with the equaliser in the 38th minute after Erica Coppey gave Belgium the lead in the fourth minute.
Undoubtedly it was yet another patchy performance from India, but it was a far better showing from the Ritu Rani-led side from their 0-7 drubbing at the hands of New Zealand in the opener.
It was expected to be a close encounter between India and Belgium, two teams ranked 12th and 13th in the world, but it was not, at least in the opening half.
The lower-ranked Belgian girls were by far the better side on display and completely dominated India in the opening 35 minutes.
The Indians looked disorgainsed and played catch-up hockey for most part of the opening period as Belgium mounted attack after attack on the opposition citadel.
It did not take Belgium long to take the lead, courtesy some sloppy defensive work by the Indian eves. The Belgians surged ahead in the fifth minute when Coppey neatly deflected home No 27's cross from the left flank.
Belgium controlled the proccedings theafter as the game was mostly played in the Indian half.
India could have been down by two goals in the first half if not for a referral which went their way.
Coppey was again at the thick of things and scored from a goalmouth melee from Belgium second consecutive penalty corners in the 10th minute, but the goal was disallowed after India called for a referral for a possible small break.
Trailing 0-1, the Indians came out with purpose after the change of ends and looked far more oriented.
Against the run of the mil, the Indians managed to draw parity just three minutes into the second half through Anupa Barla, who deflected in a loose ball from close range.
Even though Belgium continued to control the proceedings in the second half, the Indians somehow managed to deny their opponents to garner their first points in the tournament.
The Belgians were also guilty of wasting numerous scoring chances that came their way in the second half.
India will take on Germany in their final Pool B match on Sunday while the Belgians will face New Zealand.