Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Germany give title holders Belgium scare at Hockey World Cup

Bhubaneswar — The sight of a long pass mistakenly being sent to a team-mate who was running off to be rotated, or star goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch rooted to the spot as Germany took the lead, is either a sign of Belgium’s ageing squad in the heat of a World Cup or that the Olympic champions are simply going through the tournament gears.

Twenty four hours earlier, Australia struck late to draw with Argentina. On Tuesday night, it was Victor Wegnez who blasted the backboard to deny Germany a rare normal time win against their European heavyweight rivals.

Germany had only beaten Belgium once over 60 minutes in their last 16 matches, while Belgium had won their last two World Cup meetings.

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A World Cup day off

There will be no action on Wednesday in the two World Cup cities.

The group stages will enter the final throes from Thursday when the Netherlands play their final Pool C match against Chile. The Dutch have qualified for the quarter-finals while Chile have lost their opening two games.

New Zealand and Malaysia also meet, with both currently both on three points. 

In Pool D, England will play third-placed Spain, hosts India taking on World Cup debutants Wales. England are currently top of the group.

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