Saturday, 20 January, 2018

HWL final: Belgium challenge awaits India in quarters

India players during a practice session in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday India players during a practice session in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday
Stacy Diaz | 06 December, 2017, 08:57

In the other last eight clash, Spain take on Australia.

The two remaining quarter-final matches will be played on Thursday 7th December, with England (2nd Pool B) taking on Argentina (3rd Pool A) at 1715 before Germany (1st Pool B) play the Netherlands (4th Pool A) at 1930.

The irrepressible Belgium team, the silver medallists of Rio 2016 hockey, marched to the quarterfinals of FIH Hockey World League Final 2017 in style, drubbing Netherlands by 3-0 in the final league game held at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.

The Indian team, which came into the Final without losing a single match, continued their good run with Aryaman Tandon drawing first blood in the boys' singles competition.

Pau Quemada's penalty corner restored parity for Spain before Josep Romeu completed the turnaround barely two minutes later.

The Spaniards continued to show their fight in the third quarter but Argentina kept goalscoring opportunities to a minimum before Spain turned the match on its head in the fourth quarter. "I always like when players play freely but that's not how we started in the last two matches".

The result saw Spain take second place and condemned Argentina to third, one place above The Netherlands.

It was a challenge that Los Leones accepted wholeheartedly, dragging themselves level with two improvised goals following mis-trapped penalty corners.

Belgium's all three goals came from penalty corners through Loick Luypaert (19th and 30th minutes) and Tom Boon (32nd).

"If you look at the match statistics, we have more circle entries".

The victory margin could have been 4-0 for Belgium had Luypaert not missed a penalty stroke in the 50th minute.

The win has given Belgium six points, ensuring that they would finish the day three points clear of their nearest rivals even before the start of the evening match between Olympic champions Argentina and European champions the Netherlands. It mattered little, with Belgium taking a comfortable victory ahead of the quarter-final crossovers.???

Junior Player of the Match, presented by ONGC: Santiago Tarazona (ARG)??

In the day's other matches, Belgium thrashed the Netherlands 3-0, riding on a brace from Loick Luypaert.

The quarter-final line-up has now been confirmed following the conclusion of the group stages.