It turned out to be a poor day for Asian teams in the Hockey World Cup, as defending champion Belgium thrashed Korea 5-0 while former winner Germany overpowered Japan 3-0 in the Pool B matches at the Kalinga Stadium here on Saturday.
A three-goal blitz in eight minutes of the last quarter enabled Belgium to chalk out an impressive win over South Korea in their opening Pool fixture while Japan, after resisting Germany for 30 minutes, caved in and conceded three goals in the second half.
After a barren first half ,Belgium pounded the Korean goal five times through Alexander Hendrickx (31st) Tanguy Cosyns (42nd), Florent Van Aubel (49th), Sébastien Dockier (51st) and Arthur De Sloover (57th).
Koreans frustrated Belgium to no end as they defended their citadel well for 30 minutes. The defending champions attacked rival defence from the start but goalkeeper Kim Jaeheon foiled all their moves with some super saves.
The Asian champions once known for their fast furious game surprisingly most of the time and seemed content in defending their goal. Belgium got another chance to take the lead in the second quarter but Loick Luypaert muffed a penalty corner. The Red Lions missed a few good chances after that.
Against the run of a play, Korean forwards created an opening but Jang Jong Hyun’s reverse flick from inside the circle was wide off the target. Belgium turned on the heat after the change of ends, scoring in the very first minute. Penalty corner specialist Alexander Hendrickx, after missing out earlier, scored with a powerful drive (1-0). Three minutes before the end of the third quarter Tanguy Cosyns made it 2-0.
The last quarter belonged to Belgium as they slammed three goals, with Florent Van Aubel (49th) converting a penalty corner to make it 3-0, Sébastien Dockier increased the lead (4-0) and Arthur De Sloover completed the rout (5-0).
In the second match, Germany was a dominating side but had to wait for 35 minutes to break the deadlock. Mats Grambush converted a penalty corner to give his side the lead (1-0) Five minutes later Christopher Ruhr made it 2-0 with a super solo effort.
Germany sealed the match effectively in the 48th minute when Thies Prinz scored the third goal with a powerful reverse sweep. The winners dominated the game throughout and forced seven penalty corners but could convert only one, while Japan failed to earn a single penalty corner. Christopher Ruhr was declared man of the match for his amazing goal.