The scoreline of Indian men's hockey team's loss in the semi-final of Tokyo Games reads 5-2 in favour of Belgium but the game was much closer than the final result.
Belgium opened the scoring in the second minute thanks to Loick Luypaert's penalty corner but India came back hard and took the lead after goals from Harmanpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh.
At the end of three quarters, both teams were tied 2-2 but Belgium upped the ante in the final quarter to seal the match and enter the final.
Alexander Hendrickx scored two goals from penalty corners and also converted a penalty stroke to complete his hat-trick. It was an all-round brilliant performance from Belgium who not only scored the goals but also denied India to create chances in the fourth quarter.
The dream of a gold medal is now dashed but the Indian men's team will now aim to end the campaign with the bronze medal.
Here's how Twitter reacted to the Indian team's loss in semi-final:
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.
- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 3, 2021
Well played 👏
Congratulate Indian Men's Hockey Team for putting up a brave fight in the #Hockey Semi Finals of #Tokyo2020 against World Champion Belgium. What they have achieved so far will inspire a generation of sportspersons. Wish them all the best for future. #Cheer4India
- Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) August 3, 2021
Belgium were stronger, smarter, sharper and more clinical today. No shame in losing to a world class team. But after a brilliant 1st quarter from India, I still see this as a huge opportunity lost. Now we have to recover physically & mentally for the bronze medal match vs Aus/Ger
- Viren Rasquinha (@virenrasquinha) August 3, 2021
India were at their best in Q1. They were quick and fast. Then, the game slowed down and Belgium camped outside India's circle. The PCs just kept being conceded. In the end, it broke India. pic.twitter.com/mqdVxjA8AM
- Ashish Magotra (@clutchplay) August 3, 2021
Tough loss 💔.. it's going to take a lot of positivity, heart and belief to bounce back quickly and play a big match to win the bronze . So let's rally behind @TheHockeyIndia .. #common #RuknaNahiHai #Olympics
- Mahesh Bhupathi (@Maheshbhupathi) August 3, 2021
India lose 2-5 to Belgium. Super play by the 2016 silver medalists. More than anything, India was tactically taken out by Belgium. Shane McLeod understood Q4 better than Graham Reid. #TokyoOlympics2020 #IndVsBel
- Sundeep Misra (@MisraSundeep) August 3, 2021
Boys,You played well.You gave it your best.We're with you.We still have a match to go.
- Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) August 3, 2021
- Jagbir Singh OLY (@jagbirolympian) August 3, 2021
Not our day. Belgium had more fuel in 4th quarter. Bizarre umpiring didn't help. Indian hockey found its Steve Bucknors today. But power in global hockey can change. If IHF rebuilds the game & cash clout like BCCI, using power of India's numbers#IndiaKaGame
- Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) August 3, 2021
Tough loss this, but Belgium have been brilliant all tournament. India will have to do what Sindhu did, dust themselves off and pick themselves up for a mighty fight in the bronze medal game.
- Tareque Laskar (@tarequelaskar) August 3, 2021