India edge out Belgium in sudden death to advance to semi final

Ruben Hill
December 7, 2017

"India are a tough team to beat". Belgium came back level at 3-3 and the match headed towards a shoot-out. "Being the hosts they are a unsafe side, and we have to be very careful as India can surprise with their ability to counter-attack". "So, we have to be very careful", he added.

In the first quarter-final of the day, Argentina, who finished third in Pool A with just one point, scored through field strikes from Lucas Villa, skipper Mattias Paredes and a penalty stroke conversion by Juan Gillardi to eke out their first win of the tournament.

England squad: Harry Gibson, Henry Weir, Sam Ward, Mark Gleghorne, Phil Roper, Adam Dixon, Barry Middleton, Brendan Creed, David Goodfield, David Condon, Liam Sanford, George Pinner (captain), Luke Taylor, Harry Martin, Liam Ansell, Chris Griffiths, James Gall. They defeated Spain, Argentina and the Netherlands. "I am really satisfied that Manpreet has taken up the responsibility talk to the guys and educate them about the importance of the game tomorrow". India will now take on the current Olympic champions Argentina.

Earlier in the tournament, India had remained winless ending their Pool B campaign with losses to Australia, England and Germany.

Both India and Belgium displayed superb Hockey in the quarterfinal game at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar tonight. After a 3-3 normal time the 10000 strong crowd was in for a treat as the match went into a penalty shoot out with the hosts coming out victorious 3-2 in sudden death. The Indians will be hoping to bring out their unsafe avatar on Friday.

"(Against Belgium) our defending was better. SV Sunil who seems to be the speed star of India, missed two golden opportunity of scoring in the first two quarters. The PCs we gave away were too easy. If they manage to dish out another strong performance against Argentina in the semifinal, then they will be assured of a medal which could further propel the careers of six players who were part of the side that won the Junior World Cup a year ago. "When we had the ball, we were more calm and composed".

Indian coach Sjoerd Marijne stated that he expected his boys to continue in the same vein that they did against Belgium.

"(Against Belgium) our defence was better. But if you had noticed then against England and Germany we had created plenty of chances. The hosts drew with world champions Australia, before losing to England and Germany.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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