Hockey team suffers fifth straight loss on medalless day

India on Tuesday ended their Olympic Games campaign with an ignominious all-loss record, their worst in the history of the mega event, after they were drubbed 3-0 by lowly Belgium in their last pool match here.

Fumbling strikers continued to cause misery for India and their humiliation was complete at the Olympic Park arena as they muffed numerous scoring chances to finish at the bottom of Pool B after their fifth defeat on the trot.

The eight-time Olympic gold medallists finished their pool matches without a single point.

India's bottom finish in Pool B was a foregone conclusion irrespective of the result of this match as all other teams has earned four or more points in the previous games, but this loss was the first time India had failed to gain even one point.

India will now meet South Africa in the play-off for the 11th and 12th positions, slumping below their lowest previous Olympic finish of eighth in Atlanta in 1996. India had not qualified for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Belgium scored through Jerome Dekeyser (15th minute), Gautier Boccard (47th) and Tom Boon (70th) to shatter India's hopes of salvaging something from the last game.

South Africa, who today lost 3-6 to Argentina, finished their five matches in Pool A with one point, leaving India as the only team not to have gained a single point in the men's hockey competition.

India's strikers continued to play an erratic game and muffed chances galore against Belgium, who had beaten India in their last encounter in the final of the Champions Challenge in Johannesburg last year.

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