No body would have imagined that the Men’s Hockey final will be fought between two outsider teams – Argentina and Belgium. In the first semi final Pan American champion Argentina rattled the two time Olympic reigning champion Germany 5-2 while Belgium stunned world’s second ranked team, Netherlands 3-1 in the second semi final.
Drag-flicker Gonzalo Peillat scored three goals off three successive penalty corners which took his tally of goals in Rio Olympics to 10. The score remained 3-0 at the half time. In the third quarter Agustin Mazzilli added one more and there after Lucas Vila made it to 5-0. With 13 minutes remaining in to the final whistle, Germany scored two face-saving goals to bring some dignity in the scorecard. Moritz Furste and Christopher Ruhr were the goal scorers for the Germany.
In the Belgium-Netherlands match, both teams adopted watch and play safe tactics. The first quarter hardly saw any enterprising hockey. In the second quarter, Jerome Truyens opened the scoring off a penalty corner for the Belgians. Three minutes later John Dohmen doubled the lead. Within a minute Dutch succeeded in cutting the lead when Mink van der Weerden made no mistake scoring off a penalty corner.
Netherlands piled up pressure on Belgium in the third quarter but goal keeper Vincent Vanasch stood firmly in between producing many remarkable saves. Score remained 2-1 at the end of third quarter.
Belgium increased their lead in the early fourth quarter with Van Aubel finding the target. Thereafter Netherlands tried hard but Belgium defence didn’t allow them to rattle through.
Belgium will now face Argentina in the final.
|… by Arun Arnaw Khare|