Belgium's Red Lions take bronze at Euro Hockey 2023
The Belgian men's hockey team won bronze at the European Championships in Mönchengladbach, Germany, on Sunday. They beat the host nation 2-0 in the third-place play-off.
Red Lion Nelson Onana opened the scoring just before the end of the first quarter at the Hockey Park. Belgium continued to dominate in the second quarter, with Florent Van Aubel making it 2-0 just before the break.
Germany worked hard in the final quarter in search of a goal but were unable to disrupt Belgium's organisation. In the closing stages, the home side changed their goalkeeper for an extra field player, to no avail.
It was the Red Lions' sixth European Championship medal and fourth in a row after silver in 2017, gold in 2019 and bronze in 2021. Sunday's victory was a small revenge for defeat in the World Cup final against Germany earlier this year.
"We have rekindled the flame that has been a bit dormant since our Olympic title in 2021," said Belgium's Victor Wegnez after the match. Missing the final was a "point of frustration" he said, but "the balance of the tournament is largely positive, especially the way we played."
At 15.00, defending champions the Netherlands and England kicked off their final for gold and an Olympic ticket. The start of the second half of the final was postponed due to approaching thunderstorms.
The Belgian women's hockey team ended the European Championship on Saturday with silver after losing to the Netherlands in the final.
© BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM