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Confident India take on Belgium in semis

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  5 Dec 2015 12:00 AM GMT


Raipur, Dec 4: Buoyed by the triumph over Britain for the first time in 35 years, India will aim to carry the momentum from their previous outing and deliver their best when they take on a well prepared Belgium in the semi-fils of the Hockey World League (HWL) Fil here on Saturday.

After remaining winless and finishing at fourth spot in the Pool stages of the eight-tion tourment, hosts India came up with a stupendous show to beat Britain 2-1 in the quarter-fils on Thursday at the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Intertiol Stadium.

On Thursday, Britain created far more chances than the hosts. They had six pelty corner opportunities, with only one paying off, compared to India’s one. But the home side did what was necessary on the day.

After a poor run in the Pool stages, India chief coach Roelant Oltmans must be pleased with the performance of his boys against Britain.

The 2014 Asian Games champions will again rely on skipper Sardar Singh to take the initiative against a top side in all the departments of the game.

What was inspiring for the hosts in this tourment is the performance of its midfield led by skipper Sardar.

In the three Pool matches, defence has been India’s weak area and was exposed quite often, but against Britain, the backline maged to give their all not to concede in the later part of the crucial match.

Indian forwards Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, S.V. Sunil and Talwinder Singh, who are highly rated forwards, had disappointed utterly in the previous three games. But on Thursday, they exhibited an improved show. However, they need further development against Belgium.

The defenders duo of V.R. Raghuth and Rupinderpal Singh will shoulder the responsibility of pelty corners conversions. Other defenders in focus will be Birendra Lakra, Manpreet Singh and Jasjit Singh Kular, while linkmen Dharamvir Singh and Danish Mujtaba will have to improve their coordition.

Goal scorers for the hosts against Britain, Raghuth and Talwinder will be the one to watch out for again on Saturday.

On the other hand, Belgium come into the match after a domiting show against Argenti where they won 2-1.

In the last match between the both sides, the European side routed India 4-0 in the semi-fils of the HWL Semi-Fils held in July.

In this tourment, Belgium looked more consistent than their opponents and India will have to put in a similar show they did in the quarter-fils to overcome and make it to the fil.

Belgium have a very experienced team in every department of the game. Led my talismanic midfielder, John-John Dohmen (312 caps), the Shane McLeod-coached side will look to find goals from Tom Boon (197 caps), Jerome Truyens (301 caps), Tanguy Cosyns (76 caps) and Florent van Aubel (139 caps).

Sebastian Dockier (98 caps) and Cedric Charlier (212 caps), Thomas Briels (240 caps) and Felix Deyer (222 caps) will join Dohmen in the midfield.

Arthur van Doren, Gauthier Boccard and Loick Lupayert (128 caps) will form the Belgian defence. IANS

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