Host India enter semi final of Hockey World League Final

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Host India enter semi final of Hockey World League Final

India beat Belgium 3-2 on penalty shootout to go through to the semi-final of the Hockey World League final 2017. India, then, let go of a 2-0 advantage, allowing Arthur van Doren and Florent van Aubel to tie the scores in the shootouts. India doubled their lead four minutes later from a penalty corner. Once again the penalty shootout ended in 2-2 draw. They won their first match in the tournament and entered into the semi-finals. 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.

Another opportunity visited India within four minutes: a penalty corner that resulted from a brilliant play by Birendra Lakra and Bikram Singh. Rupinder Pal Singh dragged the ball behind him and into the path of Harmanpreet, who scored easily. He blocked out Belgium's first attempt but India also scored their subsequent attempt. Just beginning of the third quarter, Olympic silver medallists Belgium was in the back foot. Akashdeep received skipper Manpreet Singh's shot with a deft touch, then, Rupinder Pal Singh, deceiving the Belgian defence, passed the ball between his legs to Harmanpreet Singh, who bashed the ball past Vanasch.

The Belgian, who were unbeaten in the pool stage, had two great chances in the form of two penalty corners at the fag end of the match to score the victor but the Indians defended well to take the game into shoot-out. It drew with world champions Australia, before losing to England and Germany.

While Gurjant Singh (31st minute), Harmanpreet Singh (35th) and Rupinderpal Singh (46th) were the goal scorers for India, Belgium's goals came from the sticks of Loick Luypaert (39th, 46th) and Amaury Keusters (53rd).

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