India's ambition to enter the Hockey World Cup semi-final after a gap of 43 years ended at the hands of three-time champions the Netherlands at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.
The Dutch came from behind to win 2-1 and set up a semi-final clash against two-time defending champions Australia on Saturday. Hosts India took the lead in the 12th minute thanks to a goal by Akashdeep Singh. The Dutch, got the equalizer in the 15th minute thanks to a goal by Thierry Brinkman.
It stayed one-apiece for the next two quarters as no team managed to convert even one of the numerous opportunities to score. The all-important goal came in the 50th minute when Mink van der Weerden converted a penalty corner that sent the Dutch into their 10th World Cup semi-final.
In the first quarter-final of the day, Olympic silver medallist Belgium defeated two-time champions Germany 2-1 to enter their first-ever World Cup semi-final. World No. 3 Belgium scored through Alexander Hendrickx (18th minute) and Tom Boon (50th) to register the come-from-behind win. The Red Lions will now fight it out with England on Saturday for a place in the final.