Just like the Red Devils in football last summer, the Belgian hockeymannen Thursday qualified for the semi-finals of the world cup. In the Indian Bhubaneswar defeated the Red Lions powerhouse Germany with 1-2. In the end of a thrilling match scored Tom Boon the winning hit for Belgium. In the semi-finals awaits Saturday England. The English won Wednesday with a 3-2 olympic champion Argentina.
The Belgians knocked Germany, the olympic champion of 2012, two times in the last two mutual duels. But in the group stage of this world cup, the Germans made quite an impression with three victories, taking the 4-1 victory against the Netherlands eye-jump. The Red Lions were on their guard, and the respect for the adversary proved justified. The quarter finals at the Kalinga Stadium was a struggle on the sharp of the cut, with the two countries together in a high quality duel completely in balance held.
After a relatively closed wedstrijdbegin was the Germany that the lead came. The Belgian ministry of defence forgot at the end of the first quarter Linnekogel to cover and which should be completely the 1-0 within rams. A little bit for the Red Lions, who responded with three strafcorners in a row. Without success.
Fifth penalty corner is good
The equalizer came in the second quarter. Penalty corner number five was good for Hendricks, who has his fifth goal at this world cup scored. The 1-1 gave the Belgians wings and suddenly followed the great opportunities together. Dockier lacked eye-to-eye with the German keeper Walter, Hendrickx left for the break two strafcorners untapped.
After the peace recovered the Germans the balance. Goalkeeper Vanasch had a few times everything from the cabinet to the Belgians for a backlog to protect. On the other side adorned the Red Lions for a further two strafcorners (press and hold the tel yet?), but that went not in.
In a thrilling fourth quarter pulled the Red Lions the sheet to itself. Walter still had an excellent rescue in house in an attempt Briels, but in the rebound had Boon the German goalie without a chance: 1-2. With more than six minutes on the clock, went to Germany with a flying goalie play, but the Belgians held under the final assault.
In the semi-finals awaits Saturday England, in principle, an easier opponent than Germany. The English won Wednesday with a 3-2 olympic champion Argentina. The Red Lions are on track for their ultimate goal: the world title.
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Shane McLeod: “Great day for the Belgian hockey, but we keep feet on the ground”
“This is a fantastic day for the Belgian hockey”, responded coach Shane McLeod after. “Especially since Germany, also strongly played. It is a lovely team, who we really respect. Today We have all of our energy needed for the victory. Although I find that the final score is our dominance on the field is not fully display.”
The last five minutes of the match was the struggle blown to the Belgians. Germany exchanged goalkeeper and put everything on everything for the equalizer. “That is the tension at its peak”, recognized McLeod. “You hope each time that the final signal sounds. But the guys at the field have a good response and everything is kept closed. There was no free space for the Germans. After the final whistle there was relief. I am very happy for the team.”
Saturday awaits the Lions in the semi-finals of a confrontation with England. As a finalist certainly belongs to the possibilities. “Our tournament is not over yet,” said McLeod. “We have learned from our mistakes from Rio. We remain with our feet on the ground and go start with the analyze of England, again a very strong team. The English are, especially defensively very solid. It will again arrive in our best level to pick up. If that is the case, it is possible to be in the final.”
Alexander Hendrickx: “although still in strong position never gepanikeerd”
“The first big step” and opened Sébastien Dockier afterwards. “But we are still not there. We still have two more times to win. We have apart in the third quarter, but I had the impression that we are at the end of the duel thanks to our physical condition again the upper hand concert.”
After a 1-0 deficit in the first quarter and turned back the Red Lions the scoreverloop still at all to. “We have us after the first goal established,” said Nicolas De Kerpel. “At the briefing before the race we decided to be our own game to keep playing, regardless of the circumstances. That has ultimately made the difference.”
Alexander Hendrickx, who with his fifth rake penalty corner of the tournament for the equalizer, made, praised the German goalkeeper Walter afterwards. “We have played with a lot of maturity and not gepanikeerd. We have stayed calm in spite of the tegengoal. After the equalizer, there was more space and we were able to dominate the game. The Germans could however count on an excellent goalkeeper, who for a long time in the match and loved.”