PM Narendra Modi took to Twitter to hail the efforts of India hockey team after the side suffered a heartbreak loss against world champion Belgium in Tokyo 2020 Olympics semi-final on Tuesday. The Manpreet Singh-led side created history two days earlier when they reached the semi-finals of an Olympics for the first time in 41 years. India will still have a shot at a medal as they will get to play a Bronze medal match against the losers of Australia vs Germany match, to be played later today.
PM Modi wrote: “Wins and losses are a part of life. Our Men’s Hockey Team at #Tokyo2020 gave their best and that is what counts. Wishing the Team the very best for the next match and their future endeavours. India is proud of our players.”
He also tweeted during the match, saying how’s keenly watching the semi-final encounter.
Alexander Hendrickx (19th, 49th, 53rd minutes), the tournament’s highest goal-getter, scored a hat-trick while Loick Luypaert (2nd minute) and John-John Dohmen (60th) also struck to hand the reigning silver-medallists their second successive entry into the final of the Olympics.
India’s goals came from the sticks of Harmanpreet Singh (7th) and Mandeep Singh (8th). India’s last appearance in the final of the Olympics came way back in 1980 Moscow Games, where they went on to win their last of the eight gold medals.
The Indians had only themselves to blame for Tuesday’s disappointment as Belgium’s all four goals came from penalty corners. The Indian defence was put under relentless pressure by the Belgians as they secured as many as 14 penalty corners out of which they converted four.
Belgium’s game plan was clear from the onset as they tried to enter the Indian circle and earn penalty corners with Hendrickx and Luypaert in their ranks.
(With inputs from PTI).