India spanked Belgium 4-2 in their final preliminary match to top group A and set up a semifinal clash with arch-rivals Pakistan in the Champions Challenge I hockey tournament in Salta.
India, who needed just a draw to make the last-four, were tied 2-2 with the Belgians at half-time. Pakistan, on the other hand, thrashed South Africa 4-1 to finish second in group B.
The beginning of Thursday's match was spirited with chances going abegging at both ends, including a penalty-corner that India shot wide.
India controlled most of the play with Shivendra Singh and Prabhjot Singh being very active upfront, but the Belgian defence held tight.
Prabhjot had a great opportunity to open the scoring after stealing a ball from Xavier Reckinger in deep defence but his shot was just wide.
India finally scored their first goal through a penalty-corner in the 19th minute, with a low flick by Dhananjay Mahadik.
The Indians could have doubled their tally a few minutes later on another penalty-corner but the initial shot was saved and Rajpal could not negotiate the rebound.