Hockey World Cup final: Belgium's Red Lions face Germany today
The Belgian national hockey team, the Red Lions, are the current world champions and will be looking to retain their crown against Germany this Sunday, at 2.30 p.m. (Brussels time).
The Red Lions will play their seventh major tournament final in the same setting of their coronation at the end of 2018: at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, India.
To attempt the double coronation, which Pakistan (1978, 1982), Germany (2002, 2006) and Australia (2010, 2014) have already managed to do, the Belgians plan to rely on their past experience. Apart from Tanguy Cosyns and Maxime Van Oost, all the Lions were already present at the end of 2018 in India.
After two Pro League matches, a friendly and a duel in the group stage, this will be the 5th match in a few weeks between Belgians and Germans. Without Arthur Van Doren and Simon Gougnard, the Belgians had split (2-2) the bet at the start of the tournament.
"It's going to be different this time around, especially with the return of Arthur Van Doren, the centerpiece of our chessboard," said Belgian goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch on Saturday.
For the Belgian striker Cédric Charlier, Belgium will have above all to manage their moments of fragility well against a German team commanded by the striker Niklas Wellen. "We saw in the group stage that the difference comes in those moments and we were solid from the start," said Charlier.
After world (2018), European (2019) and Olympic (2021) titles, the Red Lions are one victory away from marking the history of international hockey.
Belgium's goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch celebrates after winning a game between Belgium's Red Lions and Netherlands, a semi-final match at the 2023 Men's FIH Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India, 27 January 2023. ©BELGA PHOTO (DIRK WAEM)