Hockey World Cup: Belgium pummel England to enter maiden final
Olympic silver-medallist Belgium stormed to their maiden hockey World Cup final after thrashing England 6-0 in a lop-sided semi-final flash in Bhuvneshwar on Sunday.
Belgium, whose best outing at the World Cup was a fifth-place finish in the 2014 edition, took the lead through Tom Boon in the eighth minute before Simon Gougnard (19th) and Cedric Charlier (42nd) made it 3-0 at the end of the third quarter. Alexander Hendrickx then nested a five-minute brace while Sebastian Dockier scored a sixth with seven minutes remaining to seal the victory.
It didn’t take long for Belgium to take the lead as Boon scored from a Florent van Aubel’s cross in just the eighth minute of the encounter. He could have added a second minutes later but his deflection hit the post before going out of play.
Gougnard then added a second in the 19th minute scoring from a rebound after Hendrickx’ flick from Belgium’ first penalty corner was saved by goalkeeper George Pinner.
England had an opportunity to pull one back towards the end of the second quarter when they had a penalty corner – their first in the match – but failed to capitalise on the opportunity.
The miss proved a little costly for them as Charlier soon made it 3-0 in the third quarter with a fierce shot from close range. It could have well been 4-0 but Dockier failed to tap-in the ball into an empty net after Van Aubel’s pass had gone through the England backline and found him clear.
It was only a matter of time from there for Belgium to jump into their maiden final and although England had few gilt-edged opportunities to get a consolation goal they failed to do so and in return, Belgium added two more.