HOCKEY WORLD CUP: Belgium beat Netherlands in sudden death to win maiden WC title

Olympic silver medallist Belgium created history by eking out a 3-2 win in the penalty shoot-out after the final match of the game''s showpiece event ended in a goalless draw.

PTI
Bhubaneswar, Publish Date: Dec 17 2018 1:17AM | Updated Date: Dec 17 2018 1:17AM
HOCKEY WORLD CUP: Belgium beat Netherlands in sudden death to win maiden WC titleRepresentational pic

A gritty Belgium defeated former champions the Netherlands in sudden death in a thrilling summit clash to win their maiden men's hockey World Cup title at the Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday.

Olympic silver medallist Belgium created history by eking out a 3-2 win in the penalty shoot-out after the final match of the game's showpiece event ended in a goalless draw.

In Sunday's shoot-out, Belgium goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch outmatched his Dutch counterpart Pirmin Blaak by making four saves to hand his side their maiden World Cup title. There was hardly anything to separate the two sides in the shoot-out as they were levelled 2-2 after five tries. While Jeroen Hertzberger and Jonas de Geus scored for Netherlands, Florent van Aubel and Victor Wegnez were on target for Belgium. However, the shoot-out was not without drama as Belgium needed Arthur de Sloover to score from their fifth and last attempt to win the game and he did so, sending the Red Lions bench into wild celebrations. But the Dutch goalkeeper asked for a referral for a foot and the goal was later withdrawn after TV replays showed the ball indeed touch De Sloover's feet while he was pushing it into the net past Blaak.

The reversal meant that the match went into sudden death and Van Aubel was given the responsibility by Belgium to take the first opportunity and he duly converted it. It was then Netherlands' turn to score and continue the sudden death but Hertzberger faltered this time as Belgium goalkeeper Vanasch came up with another brilliant save to hand his side the biggest win of their careers. 

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