First half, Germany had upper hand despite a 1-0 lead for 2012 European Junior champions, Belgium at the time of lemon break.
Belgian Goalkeeper Arnaud Flamand made three key saves in the opening frame after a flurry of German attacks, starting with a near-side save on Jonas Gomoll’s deflectioin on a fast from Niklas Bruns. In the 26th minute Flamand saved a point-blank shot from Jan Nitschke to keep the game scoreless.
Belgium forced a turnover deep in Germany’s end in a high press to catch Germany on wrong foot. The resulting shot by Maxime Capelle went past Germany keeper Mark Appel to earn a 1-0 lead for Belgium in the 30th minute. Germany had a chance to equalize in the final minute of the first half but Bruns’ close-range deflection went just wide of the open net.
In the second half Germany dominated the game in midfield, forcing Belgium from sideline to sideline but were unable to find fortune in the circle. Belgium’s speed and tenacity frustrated Germany and they were finally rewarded. Cappelle tallied his second of the match after a quick run down the right side of the pitch. His resulting sweep pass across the circle hit a Germany defender and trickled across the goal line to double the lead of Belgium.
Germany’s Christopher Ruhr scored on PC in 62nd minute to reduce the margin and the Germans pushed up in the search of equalizer but Alexandre van Linthoudt of Belgium was on target in the 70th minute to give Belgium the 3-1 victory to earn full 3 points from the match
Speaking on the win Belgium Coach, Philippe Goldberg said “It’s good feeling to win the first match as it boosts our confidence level going ahead in the tournament. The strategy for today was to defend and simultaneously pick a moment where the opponent to commit a mistake and that is what worked in our favour for today”.
Post the match, German Coach Andre Henning said “It was an unlucky day for us where we committed too many errors. Belgium was a better side in today’s play where they managed to get more penalty corners and made the right use of it. There’s a lot of learning for the entire team and we will sit back and analyze using the video footage of our play”.