Neither India nor China nor Malaysia nor Pakistan nor South Africa could win hockey world cup honour on the Asian ground. It was a misfortune for these teams that even could not reach the third position. Belgium emerged as the new champion of the hockey playing nations.
Asian teams were not able to battle with the European players forcefully. India revived some tint of hope in the quarter-finals but it soon dashed with its defeat at the hands of stronger Netherlands. The latest edition of the hockey world cup title nullified the past records.
Belgium surprised everyone by its claim on the coveted cup at men’s hockey championship in Odisha. None expected of the outcome turning so groundlessly. Was it not luck for Belgium after the penalty stroke was missed by Holland’s Hershberger?
Belgium became the sixth country in achieving the honour of hockey world cup for the first time. Defeating the three-time champion Holland proved that luck held a pivotal role in writing history afresh. What surprised was a first-time entry into final match brought honours to Belgium.
With this surprising result, the hockey moved to the European players as they were skilled enough to defeat the sub-continental traditional hockey players on the astroturf. Indian team’s dream of playing the semi-final match shattered even after 43 long years.
At least India fought to a great extent but where did Pakistan stand now? It failed even in the group matches. It was no longer a team deserving admiration. India’s 5-1 win against Canada had erased the unpleasant memories of 2016 Rio Olympic and 2017 London World Cup respectively.