Tokyo Olympics 2020: Indian Hockey men team lost Belgium in semifinals and still chance win medal
Tokyo Olympics 2020 Indian hockey team: Belgium defeated India 5-2 in the semi-final match played between India and Belgium at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 on Tuesday. Lost due to three goals in the last 11 minutes and was out of the race for the final.
With this, India’s dream of winning the gold medal after 41 years was also shattered. However, India is still not out of the medal race. He still has a chance to win the bronze medal. She will now take on the team that was defeated in the second semi-final between Australia and Germany for the bronze medal.
The Indian team was at one point in the lead but losing three goals in the last 11 minutes and a hat-trick by Aleksandr Hendrix (19th, 49th and 53rd minutes) cost them dearly. Apart from Hendrix, world champions Belgium, Loic Fanny Lypert (second) and John John Dohmann (60th minute) also scored.
For India, Harmanpreet Singh scored in the seventh minute and Mandeep Singh scored in the eighth minute. Belgium, the silver medalist of the Rio Olympics, have made it to the Olympic final for the second time in a row where they will face the winner of the second semi-final between Australia and Germany.
India last made it to the final at the 1980 Moscow Olympics and the team won the last of its eight gold medals. The Indian team was to blame for the semi-final loss as Belgium scored four goals from penalty corners. The world champions continued to put pressure on the Indian defense line, scoring 14 penalty corners, four of which were converted into goals.
Belgium’s strategy from the start was clear to get into the Indian circle to get a penalty corner as they have two penalty corner specialists in Hendrix and Lappert. He executed his strategy well and Hendrix and Lypert did not let him down.
India also scored five penalty corners but were able to score only one of them. The Indian team reached the semi-finals of the Olympics after 49 years. She still has a chance to win a bronze medal for which she will take on either Australia or Germany on Thursday.
India got off to a slow start while Belgium took control of the match early on and scored a goal in the meantime. Belgium managed to secure a penalty corner on their first attack, which Leipert converted into a goal with a powerful flick.
The Indians, however, made a strong comeback and changed the equation of the match by scoring two goals within two minutes. India secured two penalty corners in the seventh minute, the second of which was beautifully converted by Harmanpreet. This is his fifth goal in the tournament.
Mandeep, who was under pressure for not doing well so far, scored a field goal a minute later to give India the lead. Mandeep got a pass from Amit Rohidas from the right end and he handed it to goal with a powerful reverse hit. Belgium’s goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch was stunned.
India got another chance in the first quarter in the form of a penalty corner but Vincent blocked Rupinderpal Singh’s shot. After trailing by a goal, Belgium continued to attack in the second quarter and put the Indian defense under pressure. India meanwhile lost four penalty corners, the last of which was converted into a goal by Hendrix to level the score. Minutes later, Sreejesh foiled the dokier attempt.
India last won a gold medal at the Moscow Olympics but reached the semi-finals for the first time since the 1972 Munich Olympics. Matches at the Moscow Olympics were played on a round robin basis.
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