HWL 2017: India beat Belgium; storm into Semifinals

HWL 2017: India beat Belgium; storm into Semifinals

India beat Pool A winners and Olympic silver medallists Belgium in a shootout at the quarter-final stage of the Men's Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneswar. For any team in world hockey, predicting India's performance is next to impossible.

The same topsy-turvy curve is continuing at the ongoing HWL Final also.

The hosts, who were not so impressive in their pool encounters, sprung up a much-improved show against World No.3 Belgium and stunned them in the quarterfinals. On a head-to-head, India have been traditionally dominant over the Argentine team, straight from the Summer Olympics of London, held in 1948.

No one had expected India to go 2-0 up against the World No. 3 side. "Being the hosts they are a risky side, and we have to be very careful as India can surprise with their ability to counter-attack".

Belgium, on the other hand had won their three matches and had scored 11 goals in the run up to the quarter final.

David Condon (29th) and Adam Dixon (60th) responded for England but it was not enough to stop Argentina at the Kalinga Stadium. The hosts took the lead thrice in the game but they failed to contain it every time, which caused the match to go into the penalty shootout. India will now take on the current Olympic champions Argentina.

England pushed hard in the final quarter to find a way back into the game, winning four penalty corners and eventually finding a way past Vivaldi after Lucas Rossi diverted Dixon's cross past his own goalkeeper.

The match ended 3-3, meaning a shootout was required to separate the teams.

However, history will have no role to play Friday; in fact the Indians can create history. Our defending was better.

Sunil, in particular, missed two golden opportunities against Belgium and he would be cursing himself for letting the chances slip. If they manage to dish out another strong performance against Argentina in the semifinal, then they will be assured of a medal which could further propel the careers of six players who were part of the side that won the Junior World Cup previous year.

Statistically, the Indians had more ball possession and better chances in all their matches so far but stats hardly have significance if the results don't turn up in favour.

"(Against Belgium) our defence was better. "Against Germany, England and Australia (in league phase) we had the same number of shots at goal and more PCs", he said. "However, if you don't score things appear bad", added the Dutchman.

"We knew we have to score". We got four penalty corners against Belgium and scored two. We are really a team, we play together and we fight together as a team on the pitch. "We left small spaces in defence and made it hard for teams to enter our circle", he added. Going by the current form that India are exhibiting, a win against Argentina is surely possible and within their reach.

Related Articles

  • Xiaomi looks for IPO next year

    Xiaomi looks for IPO next year

    According to one of the people, its float could be the world's "largest technology IPO" next year. However, industry sources suggest that Xiaomi is being highly optimistic about its valuation.
    3rd day of ex-officer Michael Slager's sentencing wraps up

    3rd day of ex-officer Michael Slager's sentencing wraps up

    "Today, no matter what sentence I give, neither the Scott family nor the Slager family will think it is right". Slager, who has been in jail since his plea, had pulled Scott over for a broken brake light in April 2015.
    Saudi prince revealed as buyer of $450mn Da Vinci painting

    Saudi prince revealed as buyer of $450mn Da Vinci painting

    Salvator Mundi has a controversial history , with at least one expert doubting that it is the work of Renaissance master da Vinci. The Louvre in Abu Dhabi already has anor Da Vinci's wall, La Belle Ferronnière, lent by Louvre in Paris.
  • Ryanair faces its first strike

    Ryanair faces its first strike

    The warning came as the airline's pilots across Europe intensify efforts to push for collective bargaining and unionisation at the carrier.
    USA  to maintain Russian Federation  sanctions until it withdraws from Ukraine, Tillerson says

    USA to maintain Russian Federation sanctions until it withdraws from Ukraine, Tillerson says

    More than 10,000 people have been killed in the fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed rebels. Moscow has denied supplying arms and fighters.
    Ed Sheeran Received This Major Honor from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace

    Ed Sheeran Received This Major Honor from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace

    At the end, Ed had a brief conversation with Prince Charles and told him that he was travelling to NY tomorrow for another gig. The Grammy Award victor spoke about his grandfather Bill Sheeran after the ceremony, saying he would be proud of his medal.
  • BidaskClub Lowers Corcept Therapeutics (CORT) to Hold

    After $0.93 actual EPS reported by Morgan Stanley for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts -16.13% negative EPS growth. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus started coverage on shares of Corcept Therapeutics in a research note on Thursday, August 31st.
    These 15 vehicles are IIHS' top safety picks for 2018

    These 15 vehicles are IIHS' top safety picks for 2018

    Vehicles the IIHS studied included small cars, midsize cars , large luxury cars , midsize SUVs and midsize luxury SUVs . The number was actually down from a year ago and the new crash tests were not the only reason why.
    Cleveland Browns: Takeaways from the offense's performance in Week 13

    Cleveland Browns: Takeaways from the offense's performance in Week 13

    Brown had no experience in evaluating players as he primarily handled the team's salary cap before he was promoted. Brown was named the team's top executive by the Haslams during an overhaul following the 2015 season.
  • Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch reserves 40 Tesla electric trucks

    Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch reserves 40 Tesla electric trucks

    Adviser Investments LLC acquired a new position in shares of Anheuser Busch Inbev in the 3rd quarter valued at about $298,000. Anheuser-Busch Inbev S.A. (BUD) now has a 50-day moving average of 118.41, the 200-day is at 113.73, and the 7-day is 114.90.
    Heisman Trophy finalists announced: Mayfield, Jackson, Love named

    Heisman Trophy finalists announced: Mayfield, Jackson, Love named

    Mayfield has tossed 41 touchdown passes and rushed for another five, while he's thrown just five interceptions. Love is averaging a mind-boggling 8.3 yards per carry this season and has scored 17 touchdowns.

    Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (HBAN) Has Another Very Strong Trading Session

    Macquarie Research upgraded Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (NASDAQ: HBAN ) on Tuesday, November 22 to "Outperform" rating. The firm owned 2,160,447 shares of the bank's stock after purchasing an additional 91,730 shares during the quarter.