In an adventurous match, Belgium beat India 5-2, shattering all the hopes of team blue to reach the finals in the Olympics. Although hopes were high to win against the world no. 2 champions on the battlefield and fighting for gold being the next. The aim, however, couldn’t be achieved but appreciations were all over to upheave the national team’s confidence.
They played a wonderful match, said Prime Minister Modi, who updated his Twitter on watching the semifinal match against Belgium. After the results, he had a word with captain Manpreet Singh and clapped for their performance at the stadium. He encouraged the Indian representation to give their best in the play for Bronze.
Former Hockey captain, Jagbir Singh, also tweeted to boost the morale up for India.
Everyone was eying on today’s match as had India managed to win against Belgium, the achievement would have been a huge psychological battle victory. Belgium, in the past decade, scripted a different story to narrate. Their fortunate years have begun since 2011 with winning an Olympic medal, World Cup, European Championship in a span of ten years. Hence, taking down Belgium, No. 2 world champions, happened to be a great deal for India.
The squad, however, was unable to stop the opponent as Alexander Hendrickx thrashed India by scoring hat-tricks.
The Belgium goal-getter, Alexander, tops the goal-scoring charts with 11 goals in the event so far.
Here are the highlights from the match:
Men’s hockey semifinal: India against Belgium
7:00 AM, Teams are standing guard to beat the opponent.
7:02 AM, Belgium get a penalty corner in just 1:04 minutes of play.
7:03 AM, Belgium lead India 1-0 in the second minute of the game. It’s Luypaert, not Hendrickx who goaled for the team.
7:10 AM, India get a PC but Vanasch saves the reverse from Manpreet after a poor stop routine. But another PC was awarded to India for transgression.
7:10 AM, India equalize through Harmanpreet Singh. Both the team stands 1-1.
7:16 AM, GOAL!!! Mandeep goaled for India. Team Blue is ahead of Belgium 2-1.
7:23 AM, First Quarter ends.
7:28 AM, Match is fierce. Belgium is now showing some pressure on the podium. But India swings back all three, despite being less a player, Rupinder Pal Singh, in the team. Rupinder rushed out early and sent to the half-line. India leads 2-1.
7:30 AM, Another PC for Belgium. This time Hendrickx goaled. Belgium 2-2 India.
7:49 AM, End of the second quarter.
8:05 AM, The Weather condition is adverse. The humidity level in Tokyo is almost 80%. Such conditions are a big test of players’ fitness as well. But the game continues. India earns their fifth penalty corner in the 38th minute. Belgium loses video referral as well. No goal this time, both teams 2-2.
8:21 AM, Fourth Quarter begins. Fifteen minutes left to match ending.
8:23 AM, Capt. Manpreet is out for two minutes with a green card. Belgium gets their 8th PC. Striking move from Rohidas, blocking Hendrickx. But the ball hits his leg and 9th PC for Belgium. India thwarts but made a mistake. Another PC.
8:25 AM, Hendrickx, drag-flicker, secured another goal. Belgium is now ahead 3-2. This is his 12th goal of the Games in Tokyo.
8:33 AM, India is tensed. Pressure is all over. Only 7:31 minutes left for the match to end and India lags 2-3.
8:34 AM, Penalty stroke for Belgium. This can finish the game for India. Hendrickx scores another goal, completes his hat-trick with his 14th goal of the Games. India trail 2-4 with 7 minutes left in the game.
8:45 AM, Belgium beat India 5-2 with the final goal scored by Dohmen in the first semifinal match at the Olympics. Belgium registered their second consecutive Olympic final, while India will play Germany or Australia for bronze. Thanks to Hendrickx for scoring hat-tricks, Luypaert for a goal in the second minute and Dohman to seal the victory by securing a goal in the last minute. While Harmanpreet and Mandeep scored for India.
India will now face Germany for the Bronze!