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Great Britain clawed its way back from 1-3 down to draw Belgium 3-3 in the final group game at the Hockey Champions Trophy being played in London. With the result, India finish second in the standings and take on Australia in the Gold medal match on Friday.
After India’s 2-4 loss to Australia in their final group stage fixture, Roelant Oltmans managed side were left to rely on the result between Great Britain and Belgium. As per the permutations in play, Britain needed to win to make their way into the final and Belgium needed to win by a considerable margin if they were to go ahead. But as India’s luck would have it, the game finished 3-3 to give India a chance to exact a revenge against the Kookaburras.
This will be India’s first ever final appearance in the Champions Trophy with the best result being a bronze medal at the 1982 event in Netherlands.
Thomas Briels gave Belgium the lead in the very first minute of the game before Britain equalised through Barry Middleton in the 25th minute from the penalty corner. The Belgians then added two goals to extend their advantage and come within touching distance of the final. Loïck Luypaert scored in the 30th and 42nd minute from the penalty corner to make it 3-1 to Belgium with a quarter to be played. But Britain pulled two goals back in the final three minutes through David Ames and Middleton again.
With a minute to be played, Great Britain had another good chance to take the lead but the effort was saved by the keeper to give Indian players reason to breathe and eventually smile.
In the final, Australia take on India for the Gold medal while Germany take on Great Britain for the bronze medal. Belgium and Korea will square off for the 5th and 6th place.