Both the teams had to settle for bottom two places in the Pool B, although the Red Lions gained their first point in the tournament. This means Belgium have to take on pool A winners England in the quarter final to be played on 15th Jan (Wednesday), while the Netherlands will be up against Olympic Champions Germany. (Full Schedule here)
The crowd witnessed an entertaining first half with both teams fighting really hard. Belgium goalkeeper Vincent Vanash was called into action a few more times than his counter-part Pirmin Blaak, who made his first appearance in the starting 11.
Constantijn Jonker (31’) struck late in the first half to open the scoring, when he got the final touch on a great pass coming from team-captain Robert van der Horst. However, Belgium equalised very quickly when top-scorer Tom Boon (34’) flicked home a penalty corner. Having scored four goals in the Hero Hockey World League Final now, the Belgian striker leads the top scorer list.
The second half continued with high intensity being shown by both sides. This time Belgium moved into lead through a superb shot highly into the net from captain Felix Denayer (52’).
The Olympic silver medallists played with great urgency in an attempt to regain the initiative but the Belgian defence stood strong until Jeroen Hertzberger (66’) equalised from open play.
Marc Lammers, Belgium Coach said, “ I am not happy with the result but yes it was a good game. We were not that smart as we had two yellow cards. But overall performance was good. I am focussed on the tournament for which good performance is mandatory. We came back hard after a dismal performance against Argentina but in the last two games we have put up a good show.”
Paul van Ass, Coach of the Netherlands team said, “ it was a close game and it was fun watching both sides for an eye for an eye contention. Belgium did well, the game was never in our favour. Draw is a good result for everyone but If it had lasted long we could have won the game. Our next game is with Germany which I think would be an exciting game to watch.”