Belgium will contest their first Olympic final four place since 1920 in Antwerp as they came from a goal behind to beat India to win 3-1 in their quarter-final in Deodoro.
Akashdeep Singh had given the Indians a half-time lead when he got the faintest of touches to a crash ball into the circle.
But Sebastian Dockier snatched up a chance early in the second half to tie things up. Dockier got another with 28 seconds remaining in the third quarter before Tom Boon – in just his second game of the tournament – struck a peach of a shot from the top of the circle for 3-1.
India removed their goalkeeper PR Sreejesh with 10 minutes to go but they were not able to break through the Belgian’s defences.
Dockier, though, does not want to end the competition without a medal, saying afterwards about his part in the victory: “It feels great but it is credit for the team. I am glad to finish the chances but it was a present for the whole team.
“We are really excited for the final four; at the moment, we haven’t won anything and we still have one or two tough games but we can do it.”
In the first game of the day, Spain bowed out of the competition following a 2-1 defeat to Argentina, a result that puts the South American side through to their first ever semi-final.
Juan Gilardi’s penalty stroke won the game very late in the game after Gonzalo Peillat and Pau Quemada had exchanged penalty corner goals to set up a tense finish.
But another Peillat drag-flick led to another shot which was deemed to have hit a foot on the line and Gilardi held his nerve to score the winning goal.
For Real Club de Polo’s Manel Terraza, it was a hugely frustrating way to end their campaign.
“It’s really sad for us. We believed we could achieve our dream in this tournament and today I think we were the better team, we performed better than them, but they won.”