Indian men's hockey team has lost to Belgium in the semi-final match at Tokyo Olympics. Belgium defeated India by 5-2 and will now face the winner of the second semi-final between Australia and Germany in the gold medal match on Thursday.
India will fight for the Bronze medal with the loser from the second semifinal between Australia and Germany.
Alexander Hendrickx (19th, 49th, 53rd minutes), the tournament’s highest goal-getter, scored a hat-trick while Loick Luypaert (2nd minute) and John-John Dohmen (60th) also struck to hand the reigning silver-medallists their second successive entry into the final of the Olympics.
India’s goals came from the sticks of Harmanpreet Singh (7th) and Mandeep Singh (8th). India’s last appearance in the final of the Olympics came way back in 1980 Moscow Games, where they went on to win their last of the eight gold medals.
The Indians had only themselves to blame for Tuesday’s disappointment as Belgium’s all four goals came from penalty corners. The Indian defence was put under relentless pressure by the Belgians as they secured as many as 14 penalty corners out of which they converted four.
Belgium’s game plan was clear from the onset as they tried to enter the Indian circle and earn penalty corners with Hendrickx and Luypaert in their ranks. The ploy worked to perfection as the Indian defence wilted under pressure to concede the set pieces.
India too earned five penalty corners in the match but could make use of just one.
-With PTI inputs
(Edited by : Anshul)
First Published: IST