Hockey World Cup 2018: Belgium beats Canada 2-1

Goals from Felix Denayer and Thomas Briels earned Belgium a 2-1 victory over Canada in the opening match of Hockey World Cup 2018 at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar. Mark Pearson pulled one back for Canada.

Belgium, ranked third in the world, is one of the favorites in the Hockey World Cup 2018.   -  BISWARANJAN ROUT

Hello and Welcome to the LIVE commentary of the Hockey World Cup 2018 opening match between Belgium and Canada at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar.

FULL-TIME: Belgium 2-1 Canada

Fourth Quarter

59' Belgium wins back-to-back penalty corners, but Kindler again comes up with a double save to keep the scoreline at bay.

57' Close from Sarmento! The striker almost gets the equaliser as he lurks at the near post, but is unable to get a good angle to finish from close range after Canada slices Belgium's defence open with three passes.

53' Canada has its tail up and a green card to Belgium's Victor Wegnez makes things interesting in the final seven minutes of the match.

48' Mark Pearson gives Canada hope as he scores in a goalmouth scramble from a penalty corner

47' First penalty corner of the match for Canada after the umpire spots a push inside the penalty area. But Belgian custodian Vincent Vanasch makes two stunning saves to keep the score at 2-0.

46' Belgium appeals for a penalty-corner, the third umpire awards the corner by giving the benefit of doubt after cameras are unable to track the ball.

Host India and opponent South Africa get to the stadium for the next match, which is the next match, starting at 7 pm. Catch the preview of India's opener.

Third Quarter

45' Canada's Gabriel Ho-Garcia gets reaches the Belgian circle but is unable to get the better of Emmanuel Stockbroekx.

40' Tom Boon wins another penalty corner for Belgium. A double dummy goes in vain as the final shot flies over the goalpost.

35' Belgium wins two back-to-back penalty corners, but Alexander Hendrickx's drag flicks are kept out by Kindler, who has been the only bright spot for Canada in this game.

34' Dockier get to the byline and gets on the end of Tom Boon's pass, but is unable to find a cut back and the ball is played out for a Canadian free hit.

31' Belgium wastes no time to get to the Canadian area in the first minute of the third quarter. Sebastien Dockier with a superb turn and flick on the left side, only to be denied by Kindler again.

HALF-TIME: Belgium leads 2-0!

Second Quarter

30' Canada is trying to hit on the counter but is unable to get a circle penetration.

27' Belgium is slowly turning the screws on Canada now as Cedric Charlier goes on a mazy run but loses his balance on the edge of the circle.

The Belgian Twitter handle celebrates the skipper's goal

 

22' GOAL Belgium! Briels will not be denied twice! The Belgian captain latches on to a pass from Arthur Van Doren from outside the circle, turns his marker and shoots past Kindler to double the lead.

20' Belgium wins the first penalty corner of the match after the ball hits the foot of the Canadian defender, but custodian Antoni Kindler makes an easy save from the set piece.

16' Canada starts the second quarter will look to build on the final minute attack in the previous quarter.

First Quarter

15' End of first-quarter! Canada wins a free hit outside the circle which ends a high octane first quarter which saw Belgium score a goal and saw another one disallowed.

12' Captain Thomas Briels seemed to have put Belgium 2-0 up! But the cross from the right wing came off the back of the stick and third umpire disallows the goal.

7' Canada finally gets a sniff of possession but is unable to sustain the Belgian pressing in the midfield.

5' Belgium is looking dangerous right from the outset as it has already launched three attacks on the Canadian goal.

3' GOAL Belgium! First goal of World Cup 2018 by Felix Denayer! A ferocious flick from Tom Boon from inside the final quarter is read perfectly by Denayer at the near post who manages to get a deflection to beat the Canadian goalkeeper.

 

1' We are underway for the opening Pool C match to kick off the 14th edition of the FIH Hockey World Cup.

  • The players take to the pitch with stands filling up gradually in the 15000 capacity Kalinga Stadium.

Match Trivia

  • Belgium, led by New Zealand’s Shane McLeod, is making its sixth World Cup appearance.
  • Its top honours include Silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics and fifth place at the 2014 World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.
  • Belgium is also the winner of World Hockey League Semi-finals and silver medallist in the European Championship in 2017.
  • Canada shocked India at the 2017 Hockey World League Semi-finals to finish fifth and secure a qualification for the 2018 Hockey World Cup.
  • World No. 11 Canada, as Belgium, is playing in its sixth World Cup.
  • The North American nation’s best finish at the World Cup is the eighth-place at the 1998 World Cup in Utrecht, Netherlands.
  • Head-to-Head: Total Matches played since 2013: 9 | Belgium 7| Draw 2 | Canada 0