Indian men’s hockey team had their date with history as they clinched a maiden appearance in the final of the prestigious 36th Hero Champions Trophy Hockey tournament against formidable Australia after hosts Great Britain held Belgium to 3-3 draw in a final round robin match.
This will be India’s first appearance in the summit clash in 36 years since the inception of the blue-riband six-nation tournament. India’s only podium finish until now was a bronze medal won way back in 1982 at Amsterdam.
India would thank Great Britain, who rallied from a two goal deficit to hold Belgium 3-3 in a cliffhanger at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre late last evening. This was after India lost 2-4 to title favourites Australia in their last round robin encounter.
The draw between Great Britain and Belgium meant both of them finished behind India in the round-robin league, paving the way for India to play World champions Australia in the tonight’s title encounter.
Australia topped the league standings with 13 points from five games, while India ended on seven points. Great Britain ended on six points and Belgium were left on four points. Britain will feature in the bronze medal match with dethroned title holders Germany, who outplayed South Korea 7-0. This was Germany’s biggest win over the Koreans in international matches. Belgium will take on South Korea in the play-off for the fifth position.