Olympic silver medallist Belgium qualified for the semifinals of the men’s hockey World Cup for the first time ever when they defeated two-time champions Germany 2-1, here on Thursday. World No. 3 Belgium scored through Alexander Hendrickx (18th minute) and Tom Boon (50th) to register the come-from-behind win.
World no. 6 Germany’s lone goal came from the stick of Dieter Linnekogel in the 14th minute. Belgium will now fight it out with England on Saturday for a place in the final. The Red Lions were by far the better side on display considering the amount of scoring chances they got the in the opening two quarters. Belgium got their first scoring chance in the seventh minute in the form of a penalty corner but they could not capitalise on that.
Germany, hower, took the lead against the run of play in the 14th minute when an unmarked Linnekogel scored from the top of the circle after receiving a pass from Tom Grambusch. Stunned by the goal, Belgium went for the offensive and secured three back-to-back penalty corners just at the stroke of the first quarter but could convert none.
Three minutes into the second quarter, Belgium secured their fifth penalty corner and Hendrickx scored with a grounded flick to level the scores. The Red Lions earned two more penalty corners in the second quarter but again faltered as Germany defended in numbers.
Four minutes after the change of ends, Germany came close to restoring their lead but Timm Herzbursh’s shot from close range was kept at bay by Belgium goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch. Belgium secured their eighth penalty corner in the 37th minute but Hendrickx’s try was well defended by Tobias Hauke. Minutes later, Belgium earned their ninth penalty corner but once again Hendrickx’s effort by the German defense.
Ten minutes from the final hooter, Belgium got the all-important winner through Boon who scored from a rebound after skipper Thomas Briels’ initial try was saved by German keeper Tobias Walter.
(18, Tom Boon 50)
(Dieter Linnekogel 14)
(Akashdeep Singh 12)
(Thierry Brinkman 15, Mink van der Weerden 50)
From Online Sources