Hockey World Cup 2018 final: Belgium vs Netherlands

Belgium defeats Netherlands in sudden death of the shootout to clinch the goal medal at the 2018 Hockey World Cup.

The Belgium and Netherlands teams lineup ahead of the 2018 Hockey World Cup final.   -  FIH Website

Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s coverage of the 2018 Hockey World Cup final between Belgium and Netherlands.

 

• van Aubel goes first in sudden death and he scores! Netherlands asked for a referral and it loses it. Goal stands. Hertzberger goes next for the Dutch and HE MISSES! BELGIUM WINS IT MAIDEN WORLD CUP!

• van Dam is tackled by Vanasch and Belgium gets a lifeline! de Sloover goes next for Belgium and he scores! But Blaak has asked for a referral here. Good call by Blaak as the ball bounced off Sloover's foot and the goal doesn't stand. With that, we are into sudden death.

• van Ass rounds Vanasch but his shot goes into the side netting. Victor Wegnez equalises for Belgium. 2-2 after four shots each.

• Jonas de Geus rounds Vanasch and scores. van Aubel dummies Blaak but his shot goes wide. It stands 2-1 to Netherlands.

• Pruijser next for Netherlands and Vanasch saves! Felix Denayer next for Belgium and Blaak makes a second save of the shootout!

• Hertzberger goes first. And he scores! Artur van Doren takes it but Pirmin Blaak saves!

FULL TIME. The match ends 0-0 in regulation time, the first time in World Cup history.  Netherlands and Belgium now move to a shootout to decide who will pick up the gold medal.

58' Sander Baart clears off the line from a Briels shot.

57' Jonas de Geus picks up a green card and Belgium will have a one-man advantage for two minutes.

STAT: The Netherlands has been involved in all three World Cup finals which have gone to a penalty shootout - beating India in 1973, losing to Pakistan in 1994 and beating Spain in 1998.

55' van Doren with a speculative shot from the halfway line. He was hoping for a teammate to get to the end of that and deflect it into goal but it was too quick for anyone and goes out of play.

53' Charlier passes across the circle to Boon but he can't get it under control.

51' Terrific tackle by Nicolas de Kerpel inside the circle to deny the Dutch a shot on goal.

49' Vanasch pulls of a good but comfortable save. Both goalkeepers have done well when needed but they've been largely without work in this game.

47' Are the players overawed by the occasion or are they too tired after tough semifinal games yesterday? Both teams have shown a lot of attacking flair in the run up to the final but none of that is on display today.

45' The third quarter ends and we are STILL looking for the first goal of the game. There's a good chance it will remain so at the end of the next quarter too. Another shootout on our hands?

42' More than 2/3rds of this game is done and we are still looking for the first goal. After seeing nine scored in the first match of the day, this might feel like a dull affair. In truth, both teams are cautious in their approach when attacking with emphasis on not letting too much gaps in their defences.

39' Dockier smashes the ball across the face off the goal and just wide. Good move from Belgium again to get Dockier into that position to take a shot. 

37' Gougnard with a run down the right channel and a great pullback but there is no one to get to the end of that pass. A fantastic chance goes begging.

35' Valentin Verga brings down Briels and is penalised for it He needs to be careful here, has picked up a habit of collecting card at this tournament.

32' Blaak makes a good diving save with his legs from a Briels shot.

 

31' Netherlands gets the third quarter underway.

30' The ball gets to van der Weerden and he swings his stick too high for the referee's liking and Belgium gets a free hit. And with that the first half comes to an end. Both teams are still evenly matches. Good defending from both side or have the attacks been poorer than usual?

30' At the same end, Belgium takes a video referral now as Loick Luypaert thinks the ball deflected off a Dutch stick before the penalty corner was given. The replays aren't conclusive and the decision stands, meaning Belgium loses its referral midway through the game.

29' Hertzberger takes it and his shot takes a deflection off van Aubel before Belgium clear the ball away.

28' Netherlands has asked for a referral as the players think it hits a foot inside the circle. The replays show that the ball did bounce off a foot and that's the first penalty corner of the match.

27' Seve van Ass flicks into the circle and Vincent Vanasch lets the ball into the goal. No touch in the circle and no goal.

26' Felix Denayer passes to Florent van Aubel and his pass into the circle is kicked away by Pirmin Blaak. And the Dutch make a meal of things before Billy Bakker manages to flick it away.

24' Brinkmann chases a Belgian attack and takes the ball off Cedric Charlier's stick as he gets into the circle. Good work there by the forward.

22' A loose ball by Hertzberger is intercepted by Brinkman but he can't bring it under control and it rolls out of play. It would have been a one-on-one with the Belgian keeper had he got control of the ball.

18' Pruijser and Hertzberger make two vital interception in the space of a few seconds to keep the score 0-0 and at the other end Gougnard defends well to stop a Dutch attack. End-to-end stuff.

16' The opening minute of the second quarter is a microcosm of the entire first quarter. Both teams with equal amount of possession and both of them dispossessed around the other's circle.

POSSESSION: Belgium 51%, Netherlands 49%

15' The first quarter comes to end with the game evenly poised. Both teams have had good passages of play but neither has been adventurous enough, like they are known to be, to attack at full strength. The opening goal could make this an open game but it's anyone's guess who will get it.

12' Gauthier Boccard steals the ball off Robbert Kemperman's stick inside the Belgium circle.

9' Hertzberger comes down the left this time but gets fairly tackled before he could pick his pass.

8' Hertzberger gets into the circle from the right and shoots into the side of the goal. Well wide but good intent.

 

7' Alexander Hendrickx's pass into the circle for Tom Boon is called for a foul by the latter as he tried to get to the ball.

5' Belgium with most of the attacking play in the first five minutes but Netherlands has been in control even if on the backfoot.  The possession stays at 50-50.

3' Sebastien Dockier intercepts a Dutch pass and runs at its defence before he loses control of the ball.

2' Simon Gougnard turns and shoots at goal and it goes just wide, with Thomas Briels looking to attack that.

1' Joreon Hertzberger wins the first free hit of the match, near the Belgium circle.

1' Belgium gets the 2018 Hockey World Cup underway! It is in its all-red strip while Netherlands is in its graphite kit.

 

• Who do you think will come out on top tonight? Let us know your thought on Twitter or on Facebook.

• Shane McLeod and Max Caldas, Belgium and Netherlands' head coaches respectively, are both cautiously optimistic in their pre-game interviews ahead of the all-European final.

 

• Here's the final team news of the 2018 Hockey World Cup:

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STAT: This game will be Netherlands' 100th game at a World Cup.

• The first game of the day saw the beaten semifinalists face off for the bronze medal and the Kookaburras came out on top with a resounding 8-1 victory. Here's how that match happened.

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Sand art in Bhubaneswar for the Hockey World Cup final today.   -  Twitter/FIH-Hockey

 

• Belgium brushed aside England in the first semifinal yesterday while two-time defending champion Australia — which equalised in the final minute of regulation time after going two goals down — lost in the shootout to Netherlands in the second semifinal. Here's our report on both those games.

 

• The final game of the tournament is here. The all-important match: the final of the 2018 Hockey World Cup. Belgium takes on Netherlands with the former aiming to win its first title while the latter will aim to equal Pakistan's record of four titles.