Indian men's hockey team suffered a heart-breaking exit from the FIH Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Finals following a 4-0 pasting by Belgium on 4 July.
The hosts got off to a cracking start with their marauding strikers turning the heat on the beleaguered Indian defence. Florent van Aubel notched up a splendid hat-trick while Tanguy Cosyns scored one goal to take Belgium in the tournament's final.Belgium will now lock horns with Australia on 5 July in a bid to secure the HWL title in their own backyard.
Goals scored in the game:
1) Belgium didn't have to wait too long for their first goal as Florent van Aubel found the back of the net in the second minute of the first quarter. Jasjit Singh, who scored two goals for India in the quarters, was at fault following a weak tackle on the Belgium attacker.
2) Tanguy Cosyns improved the scoreline for Belgium after scoring the second goal in the eighth minute. The Belgian, who got the ball on rebound after Indian goalkeeper Sreejesh Ravindran stopped a drag flick, fired one home.
3) Florent Van Aubel found the net for the second time in the 41st minute after India's Jasjit Singh put his body on the line of the attacker to give away a penalty corner to Belgium.
4) Florent Van Aubel piled up more misery on India and also completed his hat-trick in the final quarter of the game. The lacklustre Indian defence failed to contain the Belgium attacker who threatened with a more attacking mode.
Reeling under pressure after conceding the first goal, India stepped up the gas and their counter-attacks started threatening Belgium defence.
1) India's Satbir Singh got a golden chance to level the score when he only needed to tap the ball on to an open goal, but goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch produced a stellar save.
2) India continued to press hard in the second quarter and Satbir Singh got another chance when he stole the ball at the edge of the circle to fire in on the run. However, the Belgium goalkeeper denied the Indian midfielder yet again.
3) India earned a much-needed penalty corner in the dying minutes of the third quarter but Manpreet Singh failed to score.
What next for India:
The Sardar Singh-led side will now face England in the race to finish either third or fourth in the tournament.