Belgium men overcome GB as Germany edge Netherlands in shootout

A brace from Alexander Hendrickx led Belgium’s men to a solid victory over Great Britain at the Utrecht stage of the FIH Hockey Pro League on Sunday.
Belgium

(Hockey news) A brace from Alexander Hendrickx led Belgium’s men to a solid victory over Great Britain at the Utrecht stage of the FIH Hockey Pro League on Sunday.

While the Kookaburras have already finished their FIH Hockey Pro League campaign, GB’s loss against Belgium meant that Australia’s men qualified for the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup 2026.  

In the other match of the day, the Netherlands came from behind twice to earn a draw against Germany before the world champions edged ahead again, claiming the bonus point in a shootout.

(Men’s) Great Britain 1 – 3 Belgium

Belgium took their chances when it mattered most in their 3-1 victory over Great Britain in a match where both teams enjoyed significant periods of dominance. GB bossed the first quarter and it took two excellent saves from Belgian goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch to keep matters level.

Belgium then controlled the second quarter and Tom Boon scored from a deflection directly in front of the goalkeeper in the 17th minute to take the lead. GB had a couple of good chances, but the Belgians remained firmly in control and Alexander Hendrickx doubled their lead with a drag flick just before half time.

GB pulled one back in the 33rd minute, Liam Ansell having all the time in the world to lash it in from the top of the circle after a poor Belgian clearance. But the Belgians responded well and went on to dominate the quarter, winning penalty corners at regular intervals and Hendrickx extending their lead with a 37th-minute drag flick. GB again managed to turn the momentum their way in the fourth quarter, but Vanasch kept them out, leaving the British side to rue their failure to capitalise on six penalty corners.

The player of the match was awarded to Belgium’s Antoine Kina who said: “It was quite a tough game, quite physical, they play man-to-man so we knew it from the start. But I think we had good possession, and we created some good chances and that’s why we won the game.”

(Men’s) Netherlands 2 – 2 Germany (SO: 4 – 5)

Germany and hosts, the Netherlands shared the points in an exciting 2-2 draw, with the Germans going on to claim a bonus point for winning the shootout 5-4. The Dutch got off to a flying start, putting the first shot fractionally wide after just 30 seconds.

Germany absorbed the pressure and recovered well to dominate the first half, Malte Hellwig putting them ahead with a 14th-minute field goal. Pirman Blaak in the Dutch goal denied the Germans a second, and the Dutch had a real opportunity in the 26th minute, but the deflection struck the post.

The Netherlands applied tremendous pressure throughout the third quarter and Jip Janssen equalised with a drag flick, taking himself clear at the top of the goal- scoring table with 13 goals so far this season.

There were opportunities missed at both ends in close succession, German goalkeeper Jean-Paul Danneberg denying Derck de Wilde with a good glove save, and Dutch captain Thierry Brinkman saving a penalty corner attempt on the left post.

Germany retook the lead in the 49th minute when Justus Weigand swatted one in from high above his head but Koen Bijen levelled the scores for the Netherlands again in the 56th minute, tapping in at the back post to set up a thrilling finish. The Dutch camped in German territory as the clock ran down but there was no winning goal and the match went to a shootout where Germany prevailed.

ermany’s Teo Hinrichs received the player of the match award and said: “I think it was a really, really tough defensive fight on both ends and I think at the end we were pretty efficient. The Netherlands played it really well actually, also on the defence, but we took our chances and I think then we also have a really good goalkeeper that backs us up in a penalty shootout.”

Top Scorer Armband

To celebrate the talented goal-scorers throughout the season the FIH has introduced the Top Scorer Armband, which is being worn by the leading goal-scorers in the men’s and women’s competitions in the current season, as a visual mark for the fans, and for the players to wear proudly, match after match. 

Current Top Scorers: 

Women – Yibbi Jansen (NED) (17 goals) 

Men –Jip Janssen (NED) (13 goals)

Also read: Odisha govt extends sponsorship deal with Hockey India till 2036

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