The Belgium Red Lions defeated Germany 1-3 on Monday in their second Pool B match at the Tokyo Olympic Games men’s hockey tournament. The goals were scored by Cédric Charlier (5th and 8th) and Alexander Hendrickx (35th). This success allows them to score the maximum number of points (6) and to occupy first place in group B.
Two days after a convincing introduction, resulting in a 1-3 victory over the Netherlands (FIH3), the Red Lions, 2nd in the world rankings, were up against another favourite of the competition: Germany 5th in the FIH ranking and European vice-champion last month in Amstelveen. The Germans were also very impressive in their first game. They had dominated Canada 7-1
And if it had been necessary to wait for the third quarter and stopped phases to knock out the Oranje in the space of four minutes, the Red Lions did not drag on Monday. And it was in the course of the game that the Belgians found the opening. From the 5th minute, an infiltration of Cédric Charlier punctuated by a centre shot was diverted into his goal by Bosserhof (0-1, 5th). This departure became fantastic three minutes later. A movement initiated on the left by Hendrickx, relayed by Van Aubel, isolated Charlier whose shot was without forgiveness (0-2, 8th). A minute earlier, goalkeeper Stadler had already postponed another try. Suffice to say that the Germans were at bay. At the start of the second quarter, the Red Lions got their first penalty-corner (pc) of the match. Alexander Hendrickx, author of the three goals against the Dutch,
The Belgians then decided to leave the initiative to the Germans who were not clumsy but encountered a very concentrated and intransigent defence of the Red Lions.
In attack, the confidence of the Belgians pushed the Germans to the fault. And Hendrickx could admire his devastating ‘sleep’ on the second pc granted in quick succession (0-3, 35 ‘).
While the Red Lions relaxed a bit, the Germans continued to believe in it. Vanasch diverted threatening shipments (40th and 45th) and a first pc (45th). In the last quarter, the German pressure found its reward after a third consecutive pc (1-3, 50th).
Reduced for a moment to nine against eleven opponents, the Belgians showed great cohesion in resisting and then concluding the meeting without too much emotion. It was also the German doorman who had to show his talent on an ultimate Luypaert pc before seeing a shot from Gougnard fly over his domain.
The third meeting of the Belgians is scheduled from Tuesday at the end of the day (11:30 am in Belgium) against South Africa (FIH 14).