Champions Trophy: India stun Belgium in quarters; Meet Pakistan in semis | Khelnama

Champions Trophy: India stun Belgium in quarters; Meet Pakistan in semis

Champions Trophy: India stun Belgium in quarters; Meet Pakistan in semis

by Khelnama News Desk | Hockey | 12th Dec 2014

Bhubaneswar: India produced an inspirational performance with a magnificent come-from-behind 4-2 victory over Belgium to set-up a mouth-watering semi-final clash against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy hockey tournament, here on Thursday.

It was a fantastic comeback after being down 0-2 within 18th minute courtesy goals from Felix Denayer (12th minute) and Sebastien Dockier (18th).

But the hosts, ranked ninth in the world immediately pulled one back in that very minute through Rupinder Pal Singh (18th).

SK Uthappa (27th) levelled the proceedings while Akashdeep Singh (41st) and Dharamvir Singh (49th) also scored in one of India's most famous victory in recent time.

The arch-rivals will meet in the second semi-finals on Saturday. World champions Australia will meet Olympic champions Germany in another last-four match.

By virtue of this win, India has also avenged upon their 2-3 defeat against Belgium in this year's World Cup at The Hague, Netherlands.

India were slow to get off the block as Belgium dominated the first quarter and earned two successive penalty corners inside the first 10 minutes but an alert India custodian PR Sreejesh foiled the second attempt with his out-stretched legs.

Danish Mujtaba missed a golden chance to score for India from the following counter-attack as he hit straight to the Belgian goalkeeper Vincent Vanash from a Dharamvir Singh pass.

Belgium hit India hard minutes later when Denayer's drag-flick found the back of the net from their third penalty corner.

India did not have the best of starts in the second quarter as well three minutes into the quarter Sebastian scored with a lovely touch from Tanguy Cosyns pass.

The Indian defence should only be blamed for the second goal as they did not close down on Cosyns quickly and gave the Belgian forward ample time to find his man.

Hurt by the two goals but buoyed by the 7,000 strong home crowd at the Kalinga Stadium, the Indian team bounced back strongly and went on the offensive, which resulted in their first penalty corner and Rupinder was at his lethal best to pull one back for the hosts.