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3:13 pm - Monday December 16, 7799

Host India enter semi final of Hockey World League Final

Agencies, Bhubaneswar

Host India barged into the semi-finals by winning over Belgium by 3-2 in the sudden death round, as the quarterfinal match ended in 3-3 draw in stipulated time in the Odisha Hockey World League Final at Kalinga Stadium here today.

The spectator’s cheers for every ball, it was a full packed crowd stand behind their home team India. The match ended in 3-3 draw in the stipulated time. Once again the penalty shootout ended in 2-2 draw.

Harmanpreet Singh who missed his strike in the penalty shootout, scored in the sudden death strike, while the strike of Van Doren Arthur was blocked by Indian Goal keeper Akash Chikte in the sudden death round and guided the team into the semi-finals. Belgium who never lost a single match in the league rounds entered the quarterfinal rounds.

In other hand, host India finished league rounds with 1 draw and two defeat. They won their first match in the tournament and entered into the semi-finals. SV Sunil who seems to be the speed star of India, missed two golden opportunity of scoring in the first two quarters. In the second quarter Gurjant Singh pushed the ball into the D area, though Sunil’s sliding stick guided the ball outside of the goal post.

Similarly, Sunil also missed an open chance of converting in the first quarter which was supplied by Harmnpreet Singh. Gurjant Singh who always scored for the country in the crucial time, also kept his reputation by scoring the first goal for India in the 32 minutes.

SV Sunil who hit a blinder to Belgium goal post, the goalkeeper blocked it, but before the defence line clear the ball out of the danger zone, Gurjant made the score for India. Just beginning of the third quarter, Olympic silver medallists Belgium was in the back foot.

The host awarded with third penalty corner, senior drag flicker Rupinder Pal Singh’s smart stick work, proved luck for India. He was diverted the ball to Harmanpreet Singh and he nailed the ball into the post in 35th minute.

Two back to back penalty corner conversion by Luypaert Loick in the 39th and 46th minutes levelled the score card 2-2 and put the stadium pin drop silent.

Rupinder Pal Singh scored a goal in the 46th minute through a penalty and India again got 3-2 lead, but in the 53rd minute Keusters Amaury’s field goal pushed the match into the shootout round.

England and Germany will meet Argentina and Netherlands respectively in the quarterfinal matches tomorrow.

Posted in: Sports

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