India found form to book a semi-final spot at the Hockey World League Final ©International Hockey Federation

Hosts India bounced back from their miserable pool stage at the Hockey World League Final by surprisingly beating Britain to reach the semi-final phase of the competition in Raipur.

Having ended bottom of Pool B, after one draw and two defeats, the Indian team began as underdogs in their quarter-final tie against a British team who had emerged as Pool A winners, following several impressive displays.

The early stages of the match at the Raipur International Hockey Stadium proved to be cagey, but the home crowd were lifted in the 19th minute when India made the breakthrough after a lengthy spell of possession.

A penalty corner was worked towards Raghunath Vokkaliga and the 27-year-old struck a powerful effort beyond Britain’s goalkeeper Harry Gibson.

Ramandeep Singh went close to extending his team’s narrow advantage at the start of the second half only to see his effort deflect clear off the crossbar, however, it was only a brief reprieve for Britain as Talwinder Singh rounded James Bailey to double the lead.

Britain attempted to claw their way back into the contest in the final 10 minutes by committing more players forward but, despite Simon Mantell reducing the deficit from a penalty corner, the hosts were able to hold on for a 2-1 victory.

“We started great and scored two good goals,” Vokkaliga said.

“We learned from the mistakes that we made in the Pool matches and we know that we can upset any team in the world on any given day.

“We will relax, rest and focus on the semi-final match now.”

Belgium overcame Argentina in the final quarter-final match
Belgium overcame Argentina in the final quarter-final match ©International Hockey Federation

The hosts are set to face Belgium in the semi-final after they saw off the challenge of Argentina in their quarter-final match.

Goals from Alexandre Hendrickx and Sebastien Dockier gave the Belgian team a comfortable half-time advantage and,  with their defence looking strong, they appeared to be on course for a straightforward victory.

A defensive error from Loick Luypaert, however, allowed Argentina’s Agustin Mazzilli to bring his team back into the tie.

A frantic final few minutes appeared on the cards but the Belgian defence regained their composure to seal a 2-1 triumph.

India and Belgium’s semi-final is set to take place on Saturday (December 5), with the first finalists due to be decided tomorrow when defending champions The Netherlands face Australia.

Related stories
December 2015:
 Holders The Netherlands to meet Australia in semi-final of Hockey World League Final
December 2015: Britain to face hosts after winning Pool A at Hockey World League Final
November 2015: Netherlands see off hosts to top group at Hockey World League final
November 2015: Britain beat world's best Australia to make it two wins from two at FIH World League Final
November 2015: Australia, Britain and The Netherlands all on target at FIH World League Final as Germany held again