The FIH Men’s Odisha Hockey World Cup has finally reached its D-day and reigning World champions Belgium would be up against Euro Hockey Championship 2021 runners-up Germany for the gold medal battle. So far it has been a crazy ride for both the teams who were drawn in the same group in this world cup.
Germany’s Road to Final
Germany were not regarded as one of the contenders to be among the top four in this World Cup. They were also drawn into the same group as reigning world champions Belgium and hence their finishing second was a given. However, they performed beyond everyone’s expectations and drew against Belgium after leading for the most part of the game.
They beat Japan and Korea badly and lost out on the number position to Belgium in the group by a goal difference margin of just two goals.
Into the cross-over, they beat France easily 5-1 and marched to the semis where they were down 0-2 for the first 57 minutes before scoring twice in the last three minutes to push England into a shoot-out where they won it 4-3 to move to the semi-final.
In the semis, once again the Germans trailed 0-2 in the first half. They came back in the second half and made it 2-2 before Blake Govers made it 3-2 for the Aussies in the 53rd minute. In the 57th minute, the Germans equalised through Gonzalo Peillat before Niklas Wellen scored a stoppage-time winner to beat the Aussies.
Belgium’s Road to Final
The Red Lions were already primed to get to the semi-finals at least and even after an injury to one of their biggest stars Alexander Hendricks, they kept on with the game and got an easy draw in the quarter-final. They beat Japan and Korea in the group stage and drew with Germany to top the group on goal difference.
In the quarter-final, they beat New Zealand 2-0 easily. However, the semi-final turned out to be a tough one for them as the Netherlands led the game all the way before the Belgians equalised in the third quarter. They also got a chance to get ahead courtesy of a penalty stroke, but Tom Boon missed it.
The match went into the Shoot-out and much like the final of the 2018 edition, the Belgians once again beat the Dutch 3-2.
Last Meeting- Match Drawn 2-2 at the Group Stage of Hockey World Cup 2023
Date- January 29th, 2023
Venue: Kalinga International Stadium, Bhubaneshwar
Tournament- FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023
Broadcast and Live Streaming- Star Sports and Disney Plus Hotstar
Germany FIH World Cup Squad
Alexander Stadler(gk), Mathias Müller, Mats Grambusch (captain), Lukas Windfeder, Niklas Wellen, Tom Grambusch, Teo Hinrichs, Gonzalo Peillat, Christopher Rühr, Justus Weigand, Marco Miltkau, Martin Zwicker, Hannes Müller, Timur Oruz, Thies Prinz, Moritz Trompertz, Moritz Ludwig, Jean Danneberg(gk), Niklas Bosserhoff, Paul-Philipp Kaufmann
Belgium FIH World Cup Squad
Loic Van Doren (gk), Arthur Van Doren, John-John Dohmen, Florent Van Aubel, Sébastien Dockier, Cédric Charlier, Gauthier Boccard, Nicolas De Kerpel, Félix Denayer (Captain), Vincent Vanasch (gk), Simon Gougnard, Arthur De Sloover, Loïck Luypaert, Antoine Kina, Victor Wegnez, Tom Boon, Tanguy Cosyns, Maxime Van Oost, Thibeau Stockbroekx