Indian hockey

HWL Final, India vs Belgium as it happened: Men in Blue prevail in penalty shootout drama

India won their first win of the tournament and will face Australia in the semi-final next.

India 3 Belgium 3: Harmanpreet steps up for India and scores to give India the lead. 3-2. Chikte has to save this now. He does it. India are through to the semi-finals of the HWL Final. What a win this has been.

India 3 Belgium 3: van Auble Florent equalizes for Belgium. Akashdeep needs to score here for a win. Can he do it? No he can’t. It is 2-2 at the deadlock. Sudden death now. Belgium have done superbly here.

India 3 Belgium 3: If Chikte saves this then India win the match. However, he doesn’t save it this time. van Doren Arthur converts. Sumit misses the goal. It is 1-2 to India.

India 3 Belgium 3: Chikte is on a high. He saves it again as. It is up to Rupinder Pal Singh now. 2-0 to India. What a match.

India 3 Belgium 3: Chikte saves the second as well. Lalit scores as India take a 1-0 lead in the penalty shootout.

India 3 Belgium 3: Akash Chikte at goal as Belgium fail to convert the first penalty shootout. India’s Harmanpreet also fails to convert for India. 0-0 here.

Shootout on the card India 3 Belgium 3: End of full time as both teams are tied at 3-3. It has been an unbelievable match by India today. Time for a shootout now.

After 12 minutes in Q4 India 3 Belgium 3: Another PC for Belgium. Can India save this one as well? Yes they can.

After 11 minutes in Q4 India 3 Belgium 3: PC to Belgium here. This is going to be a crucial one. Belgium have converted all three PC’s today. However, they fail to convert it this time.

After 9 minutes in Q4 India 3 Belgium 3: Belgium back on level terms yet against as Cédric Charlier scores. What a game this has been. Will a penalty shootout take place? Will India once again take the lead? Five minutes to go.

After 5 minutes in Q4 India 3 Belgium 2: What a pass by Harmanpreet there. Mandeep Singh fails to convert. He should have passed it to Akashdeep who was open. India clearly on the offensive here.

After 2 minutes in Q4 India 3 Belgium 2: PC for India now. Can they make it 3-2? Yes they can as Rupinder Singh Pal converts. India doing everything right. India back in front.

After 1 minute in Q4 India 2 Belgium 2: Early PC for Belgium and yet again Loick Luypaert converts. Belgium come from two goals down to make it 2-2. Luypaert scores his eighth goal of the tournament.

End of Q3 India 2 Belgium 1: A brilliant third quarter for both teams. India with a one-goal advantage. As it stands, India will face Australia in the semis for now.

After 14 minutes in Q3 India 2 Belgium 1: India down to 10 men here. SK Uthappa sees a green card. India must make sure not to concede a second goal here. They have worked really hard here.

After 12 minutes in Q3 India 2 Belgium 1: India still have a one goal lead against Belgium. The hosts are still looking to attack despite conceding a goal, which is heartening to see.

After 9 minutes in Q3 India 2 Belgium 1: Belgium get their first PC and defender Loick Luypaert converts. He is the tournament’s highest goal scorer. This will be his seventh goal out of which six are from PC’s alone.

After 8 minutes in Q3 India 2 Belgium 0: Belgium are losing possession time and again. India looking for the third goal as look to counter.

After 5 minutes in Q3 India 2 Belgium 0: Another PC for India. Harmanpreet converts it this time. What a goal by the 21-year-old. This is an outstanding performance by India so far.

After 4 minutes in Q3 India 1 Belgium 0: India have clearly stunned Belgium here. Belgium, who have remained unbeaten in the HWL Final, are staring at their first defeat? India not allowing them any space. Brilliant stuff from goalkeeper Karkera as well.

After two minutes in Q3 India 1 Belgium 0: India score. Gurjant Singh comes to India’s rescue. Brilliant play from Akashdeep Singh and Gurjant.

End of half-time India 0 Belgium 0: PC for India. 30 seconds to go, can India convert? Their second of the night. Harmanpreet fails to score. But yet another save by German goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch.

“We really happy. We are creating chances, we just have to finish it. We just want to put pressure on their defence and go for counters,” says SV Sunil.

After 12 minutes in Q2 India 0 Belgium 0: Brilliant save by Karkera there. India looking to score on the counter, but Akashdeep fails to convert. The first half clearly belongs to India though.

After 10 minutes in Q2 India 0 Belgium 0: The Indian defence are standing their ground. The players are constantly on the move, which was missing against England and Germany. Still a deadlock though. India doing everything right today.

After 6 minutes in Q2 India 0 Belgium 0: India playing the quick one-touch type of hockey coach Sjoerd Marijne wants them to play. Not keeping the ball for a long time and making quick passes. They have also made sure not to concede a PC, which is Belgium’s strength.

After 2 minutes in Q2 India 0 Belgium 0: SV Sunil misses yet again. A brilliant pass by Gurjant Singh there. Finishing has been a problem for India in this tournament.

End of Q1 India 0 Belgium 0: India have clearly looked like the better side in the first quarter. The winner of this match will face Australia in the semi-final.

After 14 minutes India 0 Belgium 0: Close contest this. Belgium finally hitting their stride. Shift in momentum here. India still trying their best to attack and score that opening goal.

After 11 minutes India 0 Belgium 0: Belgium almost score there. However, it was a back stick by Belgium there.

After 10 minutes India 0 Belgium 0: This is striker Akashdeep Singh’s 150th international game.

After 7 minutes India 0 Belgium 0: India have clearly dominated proceedings early on. Belgium are chasing after the Indian players.

After 5 minutes: Penalty corner for India. Can they convert? Harmanpreet fails to convert though. India have been poor in their PC conversion rate throughout the tournament.

After four minutes: The game has started with great pace. India look rejuvenated out there. Can they maintain this pace throughout the game?

After one minute: A clear chance there for India but SV Sunil fails to convert. What a costly mistake that could be for India.

A packed house at the Kalinga Stadium. The crowd right behind India. Men in Blue will have to go toe-to-toe against the Olympic silver medalist.

07:20pm: India’s penalty corner conversion has been poor throughout the tournament. The team’s conversion rate after three games in HWL Final is just 15.38 per cent. They have converted just two out of 13 chances.

07:15pm: India coach Sjoerd Marijne has stressed on consistency, which his team has failed to do throughout the tournament. Read his views on the team here.

07:15pm: Belgium have so far scored 11 goals in the tournament including a 5-0 win against Spain. They have conceded just twice in three games. India on the other hand have conceded six goals and have scored just three. The India forwards will have to up their game tonight if they are to win.

Here is India’s starting XI against Belgium.

07:05pm: Earlier, in the first quarter-final, defending champions Australia thrashed Spain 4-1 to book their spot in the semis. India played out an impressive 1-1 draw against Australia in their first match of the tournament. They will look to draw inspiration from that gritty performance for sure.

Look at Belgium’s sensational win over Netherlands in their last match. They beat them 3-0.

07:00pm: Good evening folks, India take on Belgium in the quarter-final of the Hockey World League Final at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. Manpreet Singh and his team face an uphill task as they take on Europe’s top-ranked team. With three wins out of three, Belgium are favourites. India are clearly the underdogs and are looking for their first win.

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