India and Belgium Join Australia, Germany in Hockey Semis

TOKYO: With a 3-1 win over Britain on Sunday, India advanced to the semi-finals of the men’s hockey competition at the Olympics for the first time since 1980, setting up a meeting with Belgium at the Tokyo Games.

The other semi-final will be contested by Australia and Germany.   

India led 2-0 at halftime, owing to goals by Dilpreet Singh and Gurjant Singh, who had won the final of their eight Olympic hockey gold medals at the 1980 Moscow Games. India clinched the victory with two minutes to play after losing a goal in the 45th minute. Hardik Singh made it 3-1.

With two goals from top scorer Alexander Hendrickx, Belgium broke Spain’s unbeaten streak with a 3-1 victory.

On Sunday, Australia advanced to the semi-finals after defeating the Netherlands in a penalty shootout in sweltering Tokyo heat, while Germany defeated Argentina.

The Kookaburras won the match thanks to a strong performance by goalkeeper Andrew Charter, who preserved a clean sheet in the shootouts, which Australia won 3-0 after the score was 2-2 at the end of normal time.

The Australians had taken the lead twice in the game, due to two goals from Tom Wickham, only for Mink van der Weerden and Jeroen Hertzberger to equalize for the Dutch.

For the first time since 1984, the Dutch men’s team did not advance to the semi-finals of the Olympic hockey event.

Following a comfortable victory over Olympic champions Argentina, Australia will face Germany on Tuesday.

In the 19th minute, Germany took the lead when defender Lukas Windfeder fired a penalty corner low and hard to the left side of the goal, giving Argentina goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi little chance to stop it.

After scoring from another penalty corner ten minutes into the second half, the Germans added to their lead, leaving them with little to fear from the Argentines.

Each team scored one goal in the fourth quarter, including Windfeder’s second, for a 3-1 final score.

Zainab Murtaza

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