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Belgium men scupper Spanish hopes, German women trounce USA

Sports News, Hockey, Spanish Hopes, FIH Hockey Pro League, Belgium vs Belgium Men, Germany vs USA Women, Switzerland
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5 Dariya News

Switzerland , 01 Jul 2023

A red-hot performance from Belgium’s men saw any Spanish hopes of clinching a first ever FIH Hockey Pro League title going up in flames as the final mini-tournament of the season got under way in Antwerp. The home side’s 7-2 victory saw the Olympic champions taking a step closer to Great Britain at the top of the table with three matches remaining. 

With Spain now out of the running, only GB, Belgium and the Netherlands remain in the hunt for the men’s title.  Earlier in the afternoon, Germany’s women produced a clinical performance, demolishing the USA 6-0. 

The result means the Americans now only have three more matches to try and secure the three points needed to avoid relegation. 

(Women’s) Germany vs USA 6-0

Having failed to score in their previous encounter despite enjoying the upper hand throughout their match against New Zealand, Germany wasted no time in getting themselves on the scoresheet this time around. Within the first minute of the match, Charlotte Stapenhorst fought her way through the American defence in the circle to pop it through for Lisa Nolte to tap in her first senior international goal off the post.

Their second was scored with a fierce reverse stick strike from Felicia Wiedermann into the bottom corner after Sonja Zimmerman fed the ball to her at the top of the D. Zimmerman then drilled in the third herself after an initial attempt from a penalty corner was stopped by the first runner. 

Less than two minutes later Pauline Heinz fired a fantastic pass into the circle for a running Stapenhorst to add the finishing touch for Germany’s fourth. After Ashley Hoffman missed a chance to pull one back for the Americans when her penalty stroke was saved, the unstoppable Stapenhorst added her second of the match, producing a lovely lifted ball into the roof of the net. 

There was one more to come from the Germans, Anne Schröder setting up Wiedermann to slot in her second to wrap up the 6-0 win. Charlotte Stapenhorst was named Player of the Match and said: “We had so much energy in it and we were really looking forward to playing against the USA here so we’re really happy with the result.”

(Men’s) Belgium vs Belgium 7-2

Spain struck first when Jordi Bonasrtre fired towards goal and Alvaro Iglesias got the touch just in front of the keeper to hand the Red Sticks the early lead. Belgium hit straight back off a penalty corner when the initial effort was saved but the Spanish defence cleared the ball straight onto a waiting Victor Wegnez’s stick who trapped it perfectly and slotted in the equaliser.

Four minutes before the end of the quarter a speedy pass in brought Florent van Aubel in on the action. His first attempt was saved, but he made absolutely sure of the rebound to hand the home side the lead.

The Belgians were back on the attack early in the second quarter. Arno van Dessel worked his way down the right and passed it across goal for a reaching Alex Hendrickx to tap in one handed for the Belgians’ third. Both Loïck Luypaert and then Hendrickx scored off penalty corners to take the home side into the half-time break 5-1 up.

While Spain enjoyed much of the possession and created plenty of pressure in the third quarter, they just couldn’t make a dent in the deficit – thanks in large part to Belgian keeper Vincent Vanasch. There were two more goals for the Belgians in the final period. 

First Wegnez picked up a pass from Nelson Onana and plugged it in for his second of the night. Then John-John Dohmen provided the perfect finish to cap off his 450th appearance for the Red Lions by powering in his side’s seventh goal. Joaquin Menini’s goal with just under three minutes remaining in the match was little consolation for Spain as the Belgians wrapped up a massive 7-2 victory.

Victor Wegnez was named Player of the Match and said: “Today I think we played a fantastic hockey game in the first half. Then in the second half we struggled a little bit more… Of course we can still do better but it’s a pretty good step forward in the Pro League and the youngsters are playing amazingly so it’s nice for Belgium’s future.”

 

Tags: Sports News , Hockey , Spanish Hopes , FIH Hockey Pro League , Belgium vs Belgium Men , Germany vs USA Women , Switzerland

 

 

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