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Belgium, Spain register upset wins in Pool A

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

It was a day of upsets in the Pool A matches of the Hockey World League (HWL) Final here today, as Belgium and stunned Olympic champions and European champions Netherlands in their opening matches of elite eight-nation tournament. While Belgium shocked world number one 2-3, lowest-ranked team of the tournament, pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament so far by defeating World Cup silver medallist Netherlands by an identical margin. In the first match of the day, the win enabled world number three Belgium to avenge their loss to in the title clash of the It was an exciting, end-to-end affair between the two Rio Games finalists but it was the Red Lions who drew the first blood in the ninth minute when Loick Luypaert converted a penalty corner. After a barren second and third quarters where both the teams struggled to get an edge over each other, the final 10 minutes witnessed an edge-of-the-seat tussle with the teams pumping in as many as four goals. After Belgium doubled their lead in the 51st minute through a field goal by Amaury Keusters, pulled one back a minute later when Maico Casella found the net from a field effort. But Belgium restored their two goal lead four minutes later through another penalty corner conversion by their dragflick expert Tom Boon. The Argentines, however, did not give up without a fight and scored again to reduce the deficit a minute later through Gonzalo Peillat's (57th minute) penalty corner strike. It was all the way in the last three minutes of the game but Belgium defended stoutly to held on to their lead. Meanwhile in the second match of Pool A, Spain, ranked ninth in the world, punched above their weight to outclass two-time Olympic champions Netherlands. scored their goals through Pau Quemada (15th minute), Enrique Gonzalez (35th) and Diego Arana (39th), while Lars Balk (37th) and Mirco Pruijser (55th) were the goal getters for the Dutchmen. will face in their next pool match tomorrow, while Belgium will be up against Netherlands.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, December 02 2017. 16:00 IST