[img_assist|nid=8553|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=75|height=100]Belgium marched into the final of the European hockey championships with a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of England tonight. They will play Germany in Sunday’s men’s final.
England would have been pleased to hold a rampant Red Lions side to a single goal in the first half.
It took 20 minues for the home side to score, with a diving Thomas Briels deflection on a Florent van Aubel cross.
Van Aubel’s pace was causing all sorts of damage down the flanks while Simon Gougnard and Sebastien Dockier were a menace penetrating through midfield.
Jerome Truyens made it two in the 44th minute when a ball from the baseline found him in space in the circle and he smashed home. The fourth cam nine minutes later with Van Aubel latching onto a bouncing ball to volley home.
Neither goal was a classic and it was some of the near misses that caught the eye.
England too had their moments with Iain Lewers, Dan Fox and Ali Brogdon producing a sweeping move from the left corner to provide Nick Catlin with a shooting chance at the other end. The shot caught a foot but the subsequent corner was saved and Tom Carson put the rebound wide.
England created the first corner of the game in the ninth minute when a cross from the right by Barry Middleton found some foot action in the circle. But Tom Carson failed to pick the ball up on a pitch that has caused all the stick stoppers problems this week.
Belgium’s first corner, five minutes later, was also mis-trappped. A second corner in the 33rd minute flew wide of George Pinner’s left post after Jerome Dekeyser slipped the ball left to Loick Lupaert.
In the other semi-final Germany defeated Netherlands 5-3.