An outstanding performance from a young side gave the Belgium men their first points of the season after a massive 4-3 win over Argentina in Santiago del Estero. On the women’s side the Leonas put two second-half goals past Belgium to secure their third win of this mini-tournament. 

On the penultimate day of action in the women’s mini-tournament in Rourkela, hosts India pulled off a massive win against the Hockeyroos, beating them 1-0. Earlier in the day, the United States put in a mammoth effort against China but could not prevent the Chinese from walking away 2-0 winners.


(Women’s) USA 0 – 2 China

Jiao Ye celebrated her 100th match for China in a hard-fought 2-0 win over a gallant United States. The match was fairly evenly contested, the Chinese having a slight upper hand in the first half as the Americans struggled to deal with their high press. Zixia Ou put China ahead with an eighth-minute drag flick, and Jiaqi Zhong turned away from her marker for a good field goal in the 19th. The USA had some chances, but they couldn’t find the net and China led 2-0 at half-time.

The Americans gained the ascendancy in the second half despite playing most of the third quarter with 10 players. Sanne Caarls nearly grabbed a goal for the USA in that period, demanding a good save from Xinhuan Li after completely unravelling the Chinese defence. The Americans ran rampant in the final 20 minutes and had the Chinese circle under constant siege in the final five, but they simply couldn’t find the net and were left to rue missed opportunities. With that, China’s successful FIH Hockey Pro League campaign in India came to an end with five wins from eight games, and they are next in action against Argentina in Belgium on 29 May.

The player of the match went to a delighted Meirong Zou from China who said: “We are very happy we had a good performance today. It’s very good here because a lot of fans come here to support us and it’s a nice stadium.”



(Women’s) Australia 0 - 1 India

Hosts India gave their fans plenty to cheer about with an historic 1-0 win, their first ever against Australia on Indian soil. The match was an end-to-end spectacle played at a blistering pace throughout, with both teams playing very direct hockey. The defensive units were tested repeatedly, but goalkeepers Zoe Newman for Australia and Savita for India were up to the task in a goalless first half. The Hockeyroos missed arguably the best chance of the half with a penalty corner against four Indian defenders in the 20th minute.

The Indians dominated an intensive second half, executing an effective press and using their pace advantage on the break. They took the lead in the 34th minute when Katariya Vandana dived for the deflection off a penalty corner variation, sending the already vocal crowd into a frenzy. India continued to look dangerous on attack but with just a one-goal cushion, the match was set for a tense finish. While they were struggling to stay alive in the match, the Hockeyroos refused to concede, and they had the home fans on the edge of their seats with a flurry of opportunities and video referrals in the dying minutes. India somehow kept everything out and managed to hang on for their well-deserved, historic win.

India’s Navneet Kaur received the player of the match and said: “We all are very happy, we did really hard work and that’s what we wanted for this match. We wanted to put pressure on them and score goals.”


(Men’s) Argentina 3 - 4 Belgium

A young Belgian side delivered a resilient performance to knock off the Argentina giants with a 4-3 scoreline. It was a fiery opening half as the mostly debutante-filled Belgian side went up 2-0 and owned the majority of the opening half chances. The opener game from a penalty stroke called after Thoams Crols’ flick hit Facundo Zarate on the Argentine goal line. Tommy Willems buried from the spot to give Belgium the lead and some momentum. The Red Lions drew blood again in the second quarter, this time from Roman Duvekot who cleverly turned and blasted in close for a 2-0 Belgium lead. Belgium’s Guillaume Hellin was sent to the sin bin for a 10-minute yellow card to give Argentina and at the death of the second quarter Tomas Domene put away a penalty corner flick to cut Belgium’s lead, 2-1. 

Back to full strength, Belgium continued to find ways to create chances. A baseline attack through Hellin had a pass booked for Thibeau Stockbroekx. Nicolas della Torre put an unfortunate touch past his own keeper for an own goal and for Belgium to celebrate a 3-1 lead. The Red Lions delivered a stunner at the start of the fourth as a good team build up allowed Willems to feed Thibeau Stockbroekx, who finished on his reverse with a beautiful flip over Nehuen Hernando for a fourth Belgian goal. Argentina wasted no time finding a response as Maico Casella’s one-timer blasted through Simon Vandenbrouke to halve Belgium’s lead once more. Domene got his second of the game on a penalty corner flick that rippled the mesh with two minutes left in the game. Belgium did well to manage the frenetic final moments and hang on to a big win for the youthful side. 

Player of the match honors went to Belgium’s Tobias Biekens who said after the big win: “It feels really good. We have been training only two months together and the young guys have done a lot and have been so ambitious to get picked for the team. We worked really hard today and also showed some class.” 


(Women’s) Argentina 2 - 0 Belgium 

A scoreless opening half was to the delight of a young Belgian side as Argentina were creating lots of attack but not the quality in the circle. In the second quarter Maria Granatto found a charging Celina di Santo on the opposite of the pitch and with just Elena Sotgiu’s pads to beat, di Santo floated the ball towards goal but it pinged off the crossbar. Chances continued to come for the Leonas but they continued to struggle for the quality.

Argentina turned up the heat as Granatto had two chances that flew just over the bar before Agustina Gorzelany provided the relief, burying a penalty stroke for the 1-0 lead. Early in the fourth quarter Belgium did find themselves with a penalty corner but the execution wasn’t there. Argentina had a nifty penalty corner routine that freed up Gorzelany with a close-range flick and Sotgiu made a world-class stick save. Seconds after the save, a bit of chaos gave space for Sofia Toccalino to blast one in and double Argentina’s lead. Admirably, Belgium held the Leonas to just the two goals from Argentina’s 23 shots and over 60 per cent possession.

Player of the match Maria Granatto put on a master class for Argentina and said of the team’s performance: “I think this game was really hard for us in the beginning but we played with passion and played really, really well in the final half so I am very pleased with these three points. 


Top Scorer Armband

To celebrate the talented goal-scorers throughout the season the FIH has introduced the Top Scorer Armband, which is being worn by the leading goal-scorers in the men's and women's competitions in the current season, as a visual mark for the fans, and for the players to wear proudly, match after match.


Current Top Scorers: 

Women - Yibbi Jansen (NED) (12 goals)

Men – Jip Janssen (NED) (7 goals)


To see the current standings in the FIH Hockey Pro League, click here.

FIH Pro League – 17 February 2024


Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium, Rourkela (IND)


Result: Match 27 (W)

United States 0 - 2 China

Player of the match: Meirong Zou (CHN)

Umpires: Aleisha Neumann (AUS), Kristy Robertson (AUS), David Tomlinson (NZL-reserve), Junko Wagatsuma (JPN-video)


Result: Match 28 (W)

Australia 0 - 1 India

Player of the match: Navneet Kaur (IND)

Umpires: David Tomlinson (NZL), Junko Wagatsuma (JPN), Aleisha Neumann (AUS-reserve), Martin Madden (SCO-video)


Santiago del Estero, Argentina (ARG)


Result: Match 20 (M)

Argentina 3 - 4 Belgium

Player of the match: Tobias Biekens (BEL) 

Umpires: Sean Rapaport (RSA), Benjamin Peters (USA), Irene Presenqui (ARG-reserve), Tyler Klenk (CAN-video)


Result: Match 26 (W)

Argentina 2 - 0 Belgium

Player of the match: Maria Granatto (ARG)

Umpires: Maggie Giddens (USA), Victoria Pazos (PAR), Irene Presenqui (ARG-reserve), Tyler Klenk (CAN-video)