HWL 2017 Finals: Akash Chikte and Crowd Make India Do the Unthinkable

Indian Crowd and replacement goal keeper Akash Chikte did the unthinkable as Olympic Silver winner Belgium was shocked in the quarterfinals. Beligium had won last 7 of the 8 matches against India. But, it was the first the combination of Indian Forwards, Midfielders and Defenders that shocked Belgiums by finishing regulation time at 3-3 after taking lead of 2-0. Then, the star of the match goalkeeper Akash Chikte saved multiple shootouts from Belgium to take Indians to an unbelievable semifinals. Indians had not won any of the three matches at group stage, while Belgium was the only team from both groups to have won all three matches at group stage. The two bottom-placed teams of Pool B, India and Australia defeated the top two teams of Pool A to enter semifinals.

In the regulation time both the teams were level at 3-3. They were also tied during Penalty Shootout at 2-2. In the Sudden death, Indians scored but AKash Chikte stopped Van Doren’s effort.

Gurjant Singh scored the first match of the goal in 31st minute. After 4 minutes Harmanpreet Singh took India to 2-0 lead. Luypaet scored twice to equalize. Rupinderpal Singh brought Indians again to lead but Keusters ensured a 3-3 draw at regulation time.

Akash Chikte was introduced 7 minutes before the end of the regulation time replacing Karkare as coach Marijne thought of having fresh legs during shootout.

The trick worked as in shoot out Chikte saved three hits and both teams were again tied at 2-2. In the sudden death, Van Doren was stipped but Harmapreet Singh scored and Indians registered a historical semifinal.

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