With its strategic moves and improved game, India managed exceptionally to defeat Belgium in the quarterfinals with penalty shootout 3-2 and enter in its second-ever semifinals of Hockey World League 2017.
The team had a tie at the 3-3 score at the end of the regulated game duration, which called for a penalty shootout. Akash Chikte, the Indian goalkeeper, played incredibly to deliver an impeccable performance that drifted the penalty goals by Belgians while Lalit Upadhyay, Harmanpreet Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh managed to get a goal with a perfect shootout and won the match by a 3-2 margin. Cedric Charlier and Loick Luypaert made the 2 penalty goals for Belgium.
India gave a tough competition to Australia while winning the match in an extraordinary way but the game with England was an average. India fueled its game with an excellent performance against Belgium. At the beginning of the first quarter, Belgium looked like winning the game with its opening goal and their performance witnessed in other occasions of HWL final.
The Indian team started showcasing their improved game with Lalit striking a winning shoot with second penalty corner, which was a variant in the entire tournament. Rupinder Pal Singh flicked another goal straight inside the goal, hitting the net for India while Harmanpreet doubled the lead 4 min. later. The improved formulations in the game were spectacular for the audiences to experience the change of strategy within the game.
It was like the game was on the edge of the knife where Belgium seemed to nearly winning when Amaury Keusters hit the ball right inside and made a goal with a scoreline that remained 3-3 with two more penalty corner. Belgium had a hard luck by failing to score a goal and striking their penalty corners into a win. The coach for India, Sjoerd Marijne, mentioned that change of passes aided them to win over Belgium, one of the best team in the world and control their gaming strategy of controlling the ball with one-on-one advantage. He also stated that their game has improved from the previous one.