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Belgium maul England 6-0 to make maiden WC final

By The Assam Tribune

BHUBANESWAR, Dec 15: Olympic silver medallist Belgium created history by making their maiden appearance in the men�s hockey World Cup summit clash, thrashing England 6-0 in a lopsided first semifinal here on Saturday.

Alexander Hendrickx (45th, 50th minutes) converted two penalty corners, while Tom Boon (8th), Simon Gougnard (19th), Cedric Charlier (42nd) and Sebastien Dockier (53rd) were the other goal scorers for the world number three at the Kalinga Stadium.

Prior to this, the Red Lions� best performance in the World Cup was a fifth-place finish in the last edition of the tournament at The Hague, Netherlands in 2014.

The Belgium players, who wore black armbands to pay respect to their teammate Gougnard whose father passed away before the match, dominated possession in the first two quarters and created a couple of promising chances, two of which resulted in goals.

It didn�t take long for Belgium to take the lead as Boon deflected in Florent van Aubel�s measured cross from the left in the eighth minute.

Just seconds from the end of first quarter, Boon again came close but his deflection from a long ball hit the post.

Belgium doubled their lead in the 19th minute through Gougnard, who scored from a rebound after Hendrickx�s flick from their first penalty corner was saved by England captain and goalkeeper George Pinner.

The Red Lions missed a sitter three minutes from half time when an unmarked Dockier pushed wide Van Aubel�s pass, with only Pinner to beat.

Just a minute after the change of ends, England secured their first penalty corner, but the world number seven failed to capitalise on the opportunity. � PTI

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