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FIH PRO LEAGUE-Belgium Men clinical against Vantage Black Sticks

  MATCH HIGHLIGHTS – Match Highlights will be uploaded into the folder below during the FIH Hockey Pro League. This will be available for New Zealand Media to use for publications. These will be uploaded into the folder as soon as they are available.    For the folder CLICK HERE  
  The World Champion Belgium Men have come away with a comprehensive 6-2 win in the second match of the day from the National Hockey Centre. The Belgium Red Lions hit the front early in the game and never relented the pressure as they continued to strike with regular frequency throughout the match. The New Zealand Men will aim to bounce back tomorrow when the two sides meet for the second time on the weekend.   Belgium came out firing early in the match, in only the third minute Arthur Van Doren was given to much space in the New Zealand attacking zone. He then managed to thread a ball into the New Zealand circle that was deftly touched home by Belgium captain Felix Denayer. Only minutes later the Denayer and Van Doren combination was back in action when this time an overhead found Denayer who slotted it into the bottom of the New Zealand goal.   Tom Boon sealed an impressive first quarter for the Belgium side when his rocket drag-flick flew past Leon Hayward and into the New Zealand goal.   The Black Sticks Men looked to have their backs firmly up against the wall as they entered the second quarter, early in the second quarter Nick Ross managed to find his way along the baseline and chip the Belgium goalkeeper for a George Muir touch into the goal.   Belgium then struck back almost instantly when a quick break into the New Zealand circle was deflected into the goal from Sebastien Dockier.   Belgium would go into the half time sheds in a strong position as they led the New Zealand side 4-1.   The Kiwis were looking to play with confidence in the second half. Early in the third quarter the New Zealand side was looking more composed on the defensive end of the field. Belgium continued to apply pressure on the New Zealand defence but were running into significantly more resistance.   Another excellent opportunity was constructed by the Belgiums as they continued to show their class when this time a baseline drive resulted in a deflection over the goalkeeper shoulder from Nicolas de Kerpel.   The Vantage Black Sticks continued to fight and found their second goal of the match when the Belgium side was unable to clear their circle, George Muir found himself open on the post and touched home his second goal of the game.   The New Zealand Men were looking for a big final quarter as they looked to build some momentum ahead of the second match tomorrow evening.   Belgium with nine minutes to go in the contest forced the Black Sticks into a turnover; this resulted in a quick break down the field where a reverse stick shot was touched impressively by Tom Boon for his second goal of the match.   The New Zealand Men couldn’t pull another goal back as they would fall 6-2 to the Belgium Men. Make sure you tune in tomorrow as the Kiwis look for a bounce-back day on the turf.   Vantage Black Sticks Men 2 (George Muir 17, 41 min) Belgium 6 (Felix Denayer 3, 5 min, Tom Boon 7, 52 min, Sebastian Dockier 19 min, Nicolas de Kerpel 41 min)  


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