The Indian men’s hockey team will be looking to bring glory back to the sport in the country when they take on world champions Belgium in their Tokyo Olympics semi-final encounter on Tuesday. The men’s hockey team made the semi-finals at the Games after a gap of 49 years and now, they will be looking to confirm a medal for themselves even though they are going to have it very tough against the Belgians.
Ever since India had a crushing 7-1 loss to Australia in their second Pool A match, the men’s hockey team has gone on a roll and has produced solid, sturdy and delightful performances. Belgium, on the other hand, are unbeaten in the competition, having drawn one game against India’s quarter-final opponents Great Britain.
Here are the group and quarter-finals results for both teams:
Pool A results
* India beat New Zealand 3-2; Goalscorers – Rupinder Pal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh
* India lost 1-7 to Australia; Goalscorer – Dilpreet Singh
* India beat Spain 3-0; Goalscorers – Simranjeet Singh, Rupinder (two goals)
* India beat Argentina 3-1; Goalscorers – Varun Kumar, Vivek Prasad, Harmanpreet
* India beat Japan 5-3; Goalscorers – Harmanpreet, Gurjant (2), Shamsher, Nilakanta
Quarter-final: India beat Great Britain 3-1; Goalscorers – Dilpreet, Gurjant, Hardik
Pool B results
* Belgium beat Netherlands 3-1; Goalscorers – Alexander Hendricxx
* Belgium beat Germany 3-1; Goalscorers – Hendricxx, Charlier
* Belgium beat South Africa 9-4; Goalscorers – Charlier, Hendricxx, Gougnard, Dohmen JJDM, van Doren, Briels
* Belgium beat Canada 9-1; Goalscorers – van Aubel, Boon, Gougnard, Hendricxx, Denayer, Dockier
* Belgium drew 2-2 with Great Britain; Goalscorers – Briels, Boon
Quarter-final: Belgium beat Spain 3-1; Goalscorers – Hendricxx, Boon
Manpreet Singh – Manpreet Singh is India’s captain and has been in the role since 2017. His leadership has led this team to playing far more cohesive hockey and he is an extremely important thread in the middle of the park.
Rupinder Pal Singh – Rupinder is back in the hockey team after being sidelined due to performance for some time. But when he is back in the team, he has shown great character and skill development to only making the team better. In the Olympics so far, he has scored three goals.
Harmanpreet Singh – Both Harmanpreet and Rupinder are defenders while they also have the skill to score from penalty corners, making them very crucial members against giants like Belgium. Harmanpreet will be required to be at the top of his game in defensive terms against an attacking line-up of the calibre of Belgium and then he, along with Rupinder, will need to make the penalty corners count because Belgium will.
Alexander Hendricxx – Hendricxx has been Belgium’s standout performer this Olympics. He has scored 11 goals for the team out of a total of 29 goals that they have scored. He has also scored two hat-tricks.
Tom Boon – Boon started out a bit slow in the tournament but as the competition has progressed, he has stepped up his game. In the last three important goals, he has scored thrice to help Belgium march ahead.
INDIA VS BELGIUM HEAD-TO-HEAD
Even though Belgium are the favourites going into the match, India have actually got a better record against Belgians in their last five encounters. India have defeated Belgium four time in their last five matches, including thrashing them 5-1. However, the last time the two sides met at the Olympics, Belgium won 3-1.
India – 18; Belgium – 29
SHOOTING EFFICIENCY (COMPETITION AVERAGE)
India – 27.3 per cent; Belgium – 32.22 per cent
India – 9; Belgium – 15
PENALTY CORNERS (CONVERTED/TAKEN)
India – 7/26; Belgium – 13/37
ATTACKING CIRCLE PENETRATIONS
India – 131; Belgium – 134