Hyderabad: After a historic quarter-final victory against Great Britain by 3-1, the Indian Men's Hockey Team lost to formidable Belgium in the semi-finals by 5-2.
Belgium team drew the blood by scoring the first goal in just the second minute. India was under pressure from early on. But they came out triumphant as they scored the equalizer in the seventh minute, courtesy a successful video referral which earned India a Penalty corner, Mandeep Singh capitalized and scored a goal.
Harmanpreet gave the lead to India by scoring another goal in the very next minute. Within nine minutes of the match, three goals were scored in total with India leading 2-1.
The end of the first quarter saw some goal-scoring opportunities. The scoreboard remained the same at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw Belgium tighten the screws for India and gave no room for error. They soon got a penalty corner and scored the equalizer in the 19th minute of the game.
Both the teams got a penalty corner each just before the first half ended but couldn't score. It was 2-2 until halftime.
The third quarter was a close contest as none of the teams loosened their guard and fought hard for the entire quarter. The scoreboard still remained at 2-2.
Into the final quarter, India started concealing a lot of penalty corners in quick succession. Belgium team earned 15 Penalty corners, with most of them coming in the final quarter. Belgium's ace drag-flicker Alexander Hendrickx did not miss out on these opportunities and scored the third goal for Belgium.
Belgium was then awarded a penalty stroke as Hendrickx scored the fourth goal for Belgium, his 14th in the tournament from seven games.
India's goal-keeper was then replaced towards the end of the game with a kicking-back, which gave Belgium another opportunity to score. John-John Dohmen scored the fifth and final goal for Belgium as they beat India by 5-2 at the end of the game at the Oi Stadium, North Pitch, Tokyo.
India still have a chance to finish at the podium as they now play the bronze medal playoff either against Australia or Germany at 7:00 am on Thursday.