Tokyo: Manpreet Singh and Co went down to Belgium 2-5 on Tuesday in the all-important Men’s Hockey semi-final in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics 2020. This means the dream of a 9th gold medal in hockey has come to an end, but it is still all to play for as they are still in contention for a bronze.Also Read - PR Sreejesh Opens up to Amitabh Bachchan Regarding Challenges, Says Playing on Astro Turf Totally Different From Playing on Natural Grass
India conceded early as Loick Luypaert scored against India through a penalty corner. But that did not bog them down as they struck back to level things up in the next minute in the first quarter. Hamanpreet Singh scored for India. Also Read - Neeraj Chopra's Coach Uwe Hohn Sacked; AFI 'Not Happy' With German Javelin Throw Legend
The game was played at a fast pace as scores were locked 2-2 at the end of the third quarter. It was the 14 penalty corners conceded by India that came back to haunt them. Belgium converted three out of the 14 and then there was no coming back for India. Sreejesh was like a wall at goal, but he too allowed five goals past him out of which one was a penalty. Also Read - Never Let Pandemic Affect Our Morale: Hockey Star Dilpreet Singh
One felt that the green card to Manpreet in the final 15 minutes hurt India as that is when Belgium scored to get in the lead.
‘Say day because we lost the semi-final. We will now prepare for the bronze medal match. We made some big mistakes by conceding so many PCs. We have a day left and we will have to trust each other for that one match,’ a heartbroken Mandeep Singh after the match.
In a day’s time, India would play the bronze medal match. The opposition would be either Germany or Australia, and that will not be an easy game as well.