Tokyo: Indian men lost in the Olympic hockey semi-final against Belgium for 2-5 on Tuesday, missing another chance to play Olympic men's hockey finals in 40 years.
India faced Belgium for the first time after losing to the latter in the FIH Pro League match in February 2020.
Now, India will contest the loser's final for the Bronze on Thursday, against the loser of Australia versus Germany match, the second semi-final.
Right from the start, India played a bit nervously that saw an early penalty corner. And in the second minute, Luick Luypaert scored for Belgium.
Barely nine minutes thence, it was Belgium's turn to concede a penalty corner which Harmanpreet Singh converted into a goal. Two minutes later, Mandeep Singh scored another goal to give India a lead, when Amit Rohidas passed a ball to the former inside the circle.
In the second quarter, Belgium raced back and earned four penalty corners within minutes. Hendrickx put one of them into the nets and levelled scores before halftime. It was Hendrickx's 12th Olympic goal.
The third quarter didn't award either team any opportunities. But in the last 15 minutes, India paid the price for its inability two prevent penalty corners. Alexander Hendrickx scored two goals; one out of them was a penalty corner.
In the final minutes, Belgium veteran John-John Dohmen scored the fifth goal culminating in a big win for the team.
Throughout Tokyo Olympics, India had exhibited good performances except a 7-1 defeat against Australia. It had defeated New Zealand for 3-2 in the opening group game. It had defeated Germany (2-0), Spain (3-1), Argentina (3-1) and Japan (5-3) so far.