Wrapping it up

There was an obvious shift in the momentum after the first half. India were attacking in the first half. But down by a goal, Belgium had nothing to lose and were more aggressive. They relentlessly tested the Indian defence and were unlucky on a few occassions to not to have scored. Also, Sreejesh were denying them in the Penalty Corners. But in their penultimate PC opportunity Loick Luypaert struck it to Sreejesh’s right that hit the net. Belgium would be relieved with the draw. But the Indians would be a little disappointed of not having capitalised on the early lead. But the Indians are on top of the table at the moment and they have two more matches to play. So, they are still well-placed to get to the final.

India, despite the draw, go on top of the standings with seven points. But it’s very close at the moment.

Full-time stats

Fourth quarter, India 1-1 Belgium: Nerves. Penalty Corner for Belgium again with 30 seconds to go. Luypaert to take the PC again. Great strike. But Sreejesh is calm and composed as he keeps the ball away. Belgium tries to score in the last few seconds but Indian defenders keep them at bay.

Fourth quarter, India 1-1 Belgium (2 minutes to go): GOAL! Penalty corner with less than two minutes to go. AND, LUYPAERT, FINALLY... FINALLY... CONVERTS! Sreejesh has denied them all day. But surely now, Luypaert has saved this match for his team. Can Belgium do better and steal the match away from India?

Fourth quarter, India 1-0 Belgium (6 minutes to go): Penalty corner for Belgium with less than six minutes to go. Brilliance by Sreejesh to keep the ball away. Belgium’s other attempt hits the bar. Just a matter of inches, Belgium would have gotten the equaliser.

Fourth quarter, India 1-0 Belgium (10 minutes to go): Consistent attack by Belgium. They earn back-to-back Penalty Corners. But Luypaert could strike, Manpreet rushes in to put his body on the line and cut away the angles. He blocks the first chance. The second chance Luypaert strikes a little wide of Manpreet. But the Indian defence scramble and clears the ball away. Eight penalty corners for Belgium, zero converted.

Fourth quarter, India 1-0 Belgium (12 minutes to go): Great build up by Belgium, they come close to scoring again. But the finishing hasn’t been good in this match, in this tournament for them.

End of third quarter: It’s been Belgium’s quarter. They had more Penalty Corners, created more chances, and almost scored because of a misjudged celebrations by the men in blue. But they still trail by a goal. An exciting last quarter this is going to be.

Third quarter, India 1-0 Belgium (2 minutes to go): For a while it seemed like Mandeep had scored, as he put the ball into the net. But the referee awarded a free hit to Belgium. Capitalising on their opponents’ misjudged celebrations, they make a surprise counterattack. But Sreejesh does well to clear the ball away.

Third quarter, India 1-0 Belgium (5 minutes to go): Belgium’s been the more aggressive side in this quarter. They are leading the circle entries at the moment. But they get a green card. Can India quickly capitalise?

Third quarter, India 1-0 Belgium (7 minutes to go): Players are getting injured left, right and centre. Bumps, collisions, hits-by-teammate’s-stick, and all. Oh, and Belgium almost score off a field goal opportunity. But no.

Third quarter, India 1-0 Belgium (10 minutes to go): Another PC goes Belgium’s way. Boon strikes and the ball hits Manpreet’s leg. They get another chance. This time Boon strikes it fiercely. But Sreejesh gets down on time to stop the ball. Great save.

Third quarter, India 1-0 Belgium (12 minutes to go): Great start into the third quarter by Belgium. Relentlessly press India in their circle. Indians try their best but they grant a Penalty Corner. Can they equalise... no they don’t. It’s still 1-0 India.

Half-time stats

End of first half, India 1-0 Belgium: Very interesting contest in the first half. India took an early lead and have controlled the play for most part ever since. But they haven’t been able to double their lead despite several Penalty Corner chances. Harendra Singh would be be a little worried about that.

Second quarter, India 1-0 Belgium (less than 3 minutes to go): India earn a penalty corner in the dying minutes of the first half. Poor organisation of defence by Belgium. Ah, India waste this one as well. Chinglensana’s hit goes wide.

Second quarter, India 1-0 Belgium (5 minutes to go): Great counterattacking run by the Indians. Sardar does well to get the ball to Sunil in the right flank. He gets the ball but delays in getting it to Dilpreet. He just has one angle to aim at – but the goalkeeper senses it and clears it away.

Second quarter, India 1-0 Belgium (8 minutes to go): Belgium are putting more pressure on the Indians. They are on par with the Indians at shots on goal (with five goals). They have made less circle entries than their opponents though.

Second quarter, India 1-0 Belgium (10 minutes to go): Another Penalty Corner for India. But Chinglensana fails to trap Manpreet’s injection. He runs back, gets the ball and strikes fiercely at the Belgian goalie. But the latter keeps the ball out easily.

Second quarter, India 1-0 Belgium (12 minutes to go): Anxious moments for India. Belgium almost score. But the Indians scramble to keep the ball away but give Belgium a PC. Vanasch’s strike is saved by Sreejesh. India hold on to their lead.

End of first quarter, India 1-0 Belgium: Good start by India in the first quarter. They have gotten an early lead. Belgium were in control for the first five minutes. But the Indians have taken control of the game ever since. Harendra Singh will be happy with his team’s performance thus far.

Numbers to know: India have beaten Belgium only on four times in their 21 meetings since 2011.

First quarter, India 1-0 Belgium (3 minutes left): No let up in the pace. India have the momentum, India have the ball. They are ahead in this match.

First quarter, India 1-0 Belgium (5 minutes left): GOAL! India earn back-to-back Penalty Corners. It looked like they’d earn a penalty stroke for a while. But the decision was referred and they just got a second penalty corner. But this time Harmanpreet converts to get India an early lead.

First quarter, India 0-0 Belgium (8 minutes left): India have taken control of the proceedings. They have the possession now. They come very close to scoring. But good save by the Belgian goalkeeper.

First quarter, India 0-0 Belgium (12 minutes left): Good start by Belgium. They have looked a shadow of themselves so far this tournament. They have begun well today. And have been awarded a Penalty Corner. They hit it straight and Sreejesh blocks it easily. They try to get the deflection in but good reflexes by Sreejesh again to keep the ball away from danger.

8:30 pm Here we are. The teams walk out for the national anthems.

Head to head

Points table

India’s playing XI:-

8:00 pm: Good evening! Good of you to take a break from all that football and joining this live blog. It’s been an exciting week of hockey so far for the men in blue with two straight wins and a narrow defeat against defending champions Australia. They were clinical against Pakistan and were solid against Argentina. But they couldn’t contend with the pace and physicality of Australia and lost for the first time in the tournament. Can they bounce back from the loss to beat the higher-ranked Belgium tonight?