India loses to Netherlands in hockey World Cup quarters


BHUBANESWAR, India — India crashed out of the field hockey World Cup after a 1-2 loss to the Netherlands in the quarterfinals in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.

The hosts squandered an early advantage to go down fighting against a determined Dutch side that left the home crowd heartbroken at the Kalinga Stadium in the east Indian state of Odisha.

Akashdeep Singh raised India's hopes of making the World Cup semifinals for the first time since 1975 with a penalty corner conversion that took them to a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute.

The Dutch though soon drew level with Thierry Brinkman scoring a goal in the 15th minute as momentum swung from one team to another.

The scores stayed level at 1-1 till the fourth and final quarter when Van der Weerden found the back of the net during his penalty corner strike in the 50th minute.

The Netherlands will now play two-time defending champions Australia in the last-four clash on Saturday.

Earlier on Thursday Olympic silver medalist Belgium qualified for the semis of the men's World Cup for the first time when they beat two-time champions Germany 2-1 in a thriller. They will face England in the final-four battle this weekend.

Belgium scored through Alexander Hendrickx (18th minute) and Tom Boon (50th) to register the come-from-behind win. World No. 6 Germany's lone goal came from the stick of Dieter Linnekogel in the 14th minute.

The Red Lions were by far the better side on display considering the amount of scoring chances they got the in the opening two quarters.

Six minutes from time, Germany took out their goalkeeper for an extra player and tried to attack the Belgium goal in numbers in search of the equalizer but the winners defended well to make their first appearance in the semifinal of the quadrennial event. — AFP