India’s Challenge At Semifinals Ends In Men’s Hockey At Olympics

Chris Steward
Chris Steward
Indian Hockey Team

India played with heart but fell short as Belgium won the match 5-2. The match’s tempo was as high as anything as the goal was scored in just the 2nd minute. India though came strong and scored back to back in the 7th and 8th minutes. After a goalless 3rd half, the fourth half totally belonged to Belgium as Alexander Hendrickx scored yet another hattrick. The women’s hockey team was cheering throughout for the men’s team but they fell short against an opponent that was much ahead of them on papers. Belgium on the other hand has advanced through and will be playing for the gold medal match against the winner of Australia and Germany.

Everything is not lost for India as they will still be playing the bronze medal match against the loser of Australia vs Germany’s match. India gave their all but the momentum was last after Indian captain Mandeep Singh was shown the green card in the final quarter and Belgium took full use of that. India gave away way too many penalties as 4 out of 5 goals were scored on a penalty. India never took their chances as India got 6 penalties but failed to convert any. This was not expected in a high-pressure game and India’s defending again was not up to mark.

Indian women’s team will be playing their semifinals tomorrow and all eyes will be on them to go through and ensure India one more medal. Men’s bronze medal match will be played on the 5th and a medal will change the fortunes of Indian hockey. Indian hockey players know that and they will be going all out as even though the Bronze medal will be on the line but India looks good when they are on the attack. India’s defense was exposed today by the mighty Belgians. Belgians played amazing Hockey as they were 1 goal down both in their quarterfinal and semifinal but came back and won both the matches with a margin of 2 & 3 goals respectively.

India’s Anju Rani has already failed to qualify for the final round of Javelin’s throw. India didn’t have a great start to the day and Tajinder Toor who will be seen later in the day will have a tough task ahead of him as the players he will be up against are better than him in any sense. Meanwhile, India’s Sonal Malik was also in action against Mongolia’s B. Khurelkhuu. Sonal Malik defeated Rio’s Bronze Medalist Sakshi Malik to earn a ticket to Tokyo.

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She had a tough start as the teenager Indian lost her 1st bout. Wrestling is the last hope for India now and a couple of medals from there will make things interesting in the Indian camp which has disappointed largely because of the shooters and boxers. Hockey has made India proud even if they don’t win medals. By virtue of scoring, Sonam was tied at 2-2 but because B. Khurelkhuu took a 2-pointer shot, she was awarded the winner. Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia who will start their campaign on the 5th are looked upon to bring some glory.

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