Red Lions beat New Zealand and advance to semifinals in Hockey World Cup
The Belgian national men's hockey team (FIH 2) on Tuesday qualified for the semifinals of the Hockey World Cup in India. At the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, the Red Lions made it past New Zealand (FIH 11) by 2-0 in the quarterfinals.
In the last four, the defending world champions will take on the winner of the duel between the Netherlands and South Korea. Across the table, Australia, the world number one, is the first semifinalist. They will face either England or Germany in the last four.
After a first half in which the Belgians were constantly in control, they managed to go into halftime with a 2-0 lead. The Red Lions' goals were neatly distributed over the two quarters. After ten minutes, top shooter Tom Boon - in the absence of the injured Alexander Hendrickx - had opened the scoring from a penalty corner. The second quarter had barely got underway when Florent Van Aubel put in the 2-0. Afterwards, both countries missed another penalty corner and the Belgians also missed a few chances, which could have pushed the score higher. The 2-0 score - despite the advantage - did not guarantee victory.
No more goals were scored the third quarter. The Belgians went in search of a third point, but Tom Boon missed a penalty corner, and De Kerpel and Charlier also failed to get past the New Zealand goalie. On a New Zealand breakout via Ross, goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch had to safeguard the Belgians' advantage. In the last quarter, the New Zealanders pushed hard but were unable to score.
© BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM