HWL: India thrashed by Belgium in semi-final
India suffered a 0-4 defeat as their defence succumbed under the pressure mounted by an aggressive Belgium side in the <g data-gr-id="23">semifinal</g> of the FIH Hockey World League Semifinals at the KHC Dragons Stadium.
Livewire striker Florent van Aubel scored three goals for Belgium, whose organised game cut out the chances of India’s breakaway counters posing a serious threat to their citadel. Opening Belgium’s account in the second minute on a defensive lapse at the top of the Indian circle, van Aubel went on to score two goals in the second half on penalty corner rebound to dash India’s hopes of a comeback.
The other goal for the home team, backed by vociferous support from the galleries, came from Tanguy Cosyns.
In the final on Sunday, Belgium will play the winner of the second semifinal between World champions Australia and Great <g data-gr-id="16">Britain,</g> while India will go into the bronze medal contest.
All four semifinalists from this World League Semifinals are secured passage to the 2016 Olympics, with India’s qualification assured from their Asian Games gold medal in Incheon. A lapse by Jasjeet Singh in controlling the ball on top of the circle in the second minute led to Belgium taking an early lead. The Indian lost the bouncy ball that Felix Denayer picked up on the right flank and sent a square pass for van Aubel, who sent a firm reverse shot into the board.