Hockey World Cup: Belgium, Germany battle it out for 2-2

Belgium, who was trailing 1-2 till the 54th minute equalised in the 55th minute to leave Germans bewildered.

Hockey World Cup: Belgium, Germany battle it out for 2-2

[Representational Photo : iStock]

Defending champion Belgium and former champion Germany battled it out for a 2-2 draw while Korea piped Japan 2-1 to stay afloat in the competition from Pool B of the Hockey World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium on Tuesday evening.

While the two Asian neighbours dished out highly entertaining hockey, the Europeans were more intense and   played to a plan. As it is often said in sports that it is not over till it is over. Belgium who was trailing 1-2 till the 54th minute equalised in the 55th minute to leave Germans bewildered.

The all European clash had a fast paced opening and Belgium went into the lead in the 9th minute through Cedric Charlier, who intercepted a cross and moved up into the circle. He cut through a defender and with an angular shot beat the goalkeeper (1-0).


The German retaliation was fast and furious but their strikers failed to beat Belgium goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch. Belgium rallied back and earned a penalty corner but Hendrickx’s   flick was brilliantly cleared by defender Mathias Muller.

However, seven minutes into the second quarter Germany equalised when Niklas Wellen scored a super diagonal goal (1-1).

The second half saw moves and counter moves but no goals could be scored in the third quarter as the defence of the teams did not yield any space to each.

Five minutes before the final whistle Germany were awarded a stroke and Tom Grambusch made no mistake in converting it ( 2-1).

However, Germany’s joy lasted barely 2 minutes as Victor  Wegnez drew parity for Belgium. The defending champions are heading the pool by virtue of their better goal difference but they play their last pool league match against Japan while Germany take on Korea.

Earlier riding on Lee Jungjun’s brace, Korea piped Japan 2-1 to stay alive in the tournament while the Samurai with this second successive defeat are virtually out of contention.

Both teams needed to stay alive in the competition as they had lost opening matches to Germany and Belgium respectively.

The contest between the two Asian neighbors opened on an electrifying note with Japan taking the lead in the very first minute through Ken Nagayoshi who converted a penalty corner (1-0)

Buoyed by this goal, Japan launched frontal attacks on the rival defence especially from the right flank but   failed to increase the lead as most of the attempts were thwarted by the Korean goalkeeper Kim Jaehyeon.

After being under pressure for about eight minutes, Koreans got their acts together and went on the offensive and Japan’s defence came under tremendous pressure and caved in.

Koreans created a move from the left and the long cross was well intercepted by unmarked Lee Jungjun who dribbled past a couple of defenders and lofted the ball past onrushing goalkeeper Tajkashi Yoshikawa into the cave (1-1). This happened in the eighth minute.

The Koreans seized the initiative from then onwards and started attacking their rivals from both the flanks. The Japanese suddenly became panicky and fell back and crowded their defence .Thus allowing their rivals a free run in the middle.

The Koreans were relentless in their attacks and in the 14th minute they forced three penalty corners but drag flicker Jang  Jonghyun  could not beat goalkeeper Yoshikawa.

Eight minutes into the second quarter, Korans created another move from the right and the ball was related to Lee Jungjun who ran into the circle and flicked the ball past Yoshikawa to score his and team’s second goal which turned out to be the winner (2-1).

The Japanese tried to counter and Kentaro Fukuda made a good attempt from the left flank but his attempt was foiled by goalkeeper Jaehyeon.

The second was a battle between the two goalkeepers and both of them brought off some stunning saves.

The Koreans earned four back-to-back penalty corners in the 47th minute but YoshiKawa stood between them and the goal.

As the time ticked away, the Japanese got desperate for the equaliser and the Koreans determined to hold the lead. The teams attacked each other but the goalkeepers stood their ground foiling most of the efforts .

With 2 seconds remaining, Japan earned three Penalty corners in a row, but twice Jaehyeon brought the save and the third time ball went wide.