Hockey World Cup: Belgium seal semis berth with 2-1 victory over Germany
Olympic silver-medallist Belgium overcame two-time champions Germany 2-1 to progress to the semi-finals of the hockey World Cup in Bhuvneshwar on Thursday.
Alexander Hendrickx (18th minute) and Tom Boon (50th) helped Belgium rally back into the math after Dieter Linnekogel had put Germany ahead just 14 minutes into the encounter.
The World No.3 will now face England in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Belgium started well and should have scored from their first penalty corner in the seventh minute but failed to take advantage of the opportunity.
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Germany, on the other, made full use of the first chance that came their way when against the run of play Tom Grambusch found Linnekogel, who scored from the top of the circle.
Down by a goal much against expectations, Belgium showed urgency to find the equaliser forcing Germany into conceding three consecutive penalty corners but failed to convert even one.
But it did little harm, as just three minutes into the second quarter, Belgium earned their fifth PC of the night and Hendrickx flicked home the equalising goal.
Spurred by the equaliser. Belgium pushed Germany behind leading to them making too many unforced errors but the Red Lions failed to the lead despite earning two more PCs towards the end of the second quarter.
Belgium goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch then kept Germany at bay with a wonderful save to deny Tim Herzbursch from close range.
That was one of the only few time the Germans came close to scoring in a lop-sided quarterfinal contest where Belgium earned 10 penalty corners to Germany’s only two in an hour.
With the match still tied at 1-1, Belgium wasted two more PCs which although hit on target by Hendrickx was kept out of goal by the German defence. But Belgium made full of their next PC with Boon scoring the winner after Thomas Briels’ initial effort was saved by German goalkeeper Tobias Walter.
Germany soon withdrew their goalkeeper for an additional outfield player as they were trailing by a goal but Belgium defended deep and in numbers for the final few minutes to eventually see off the victory.
Semi-finals: England vs Belgium / Australia vs The Netherlands