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FIH Pro League-(Black Sticks-Belgium)

Belgium clinical in win over Black Sticks Men
A clinical Belgium Men have beaten the Vantage Black Sticks 4-0, the New Zealand side had their chances in the match, however it was the Belgium team that made the most of their opportunities in the match. Belgium dominated the match from the start to finish and had the majority of the attacking play with 15 shots on goal compared to the Black Sticks 6. 
 
Kane Russell commented “Belgium when they get momentum are hard to stop. It was difficult to compete after playing only two days ago against Spain”
 
Belgium opened the score midway through the first quarter when some sensational passing in the New Zealand attacking third led to an easy touch in for Sebastien Dockier. Belgium continued to apply significant pressure on the New Zealand side as the quarter wore on, the Red Lions passing was looking incredibly slick and they were starving the kiwis of the ball as shown by Belgium holding a 60% to 40% possession advantage in the first quarter. 
 
The Belgium team continued to play at a frenetic pace at the start of the second quarter and were creating several scoring opportunities. Midway through the second quarter Shea McAleese found an open Stephen Jenness on a long pass from deep in the New Zealand half, unfortunately his shot sailed just wide of the goal. As the second quarter wore on the New Zealand side looked more composed and managed to have three circle entries and two shots on goal as they looked to build their way back into the match. 
 
Belgium begun the second half looking clinical on the attacking end of the field. Midway through the third quarter Belgium earned their second penalty corner of the match, the sweep to the goal went just wide of the post keeping the score at 1-0. Late in the third quarter the New Zealand side were unable to clear their defensive zone, Belgium jumped on the turnover and powered the shot into the bottom corner of the goal. 
 
The New Zealand team started the final quarter in a positive fashion earning their second penalty corner of the match, this time Vincent Vanasch pulled off a series of outstanding saves to keep the Black Sticks off the score sheet. Belgium looked to have sealed the result with 5 minutes to go as Thomas Briels powered home the shot after some slick passing, moments later Briels had his second goal of the match when a diving deflection put Belgium up 4-0 in the match. 
 
Vantage Black Sticks Men 0
Belgium Men 4 (Sebastien Dockier 7 min, Maxime Plennevaux 43 min, Thomas Briels 56, 57 min)
 
By the numbers:
  Vantage Black Sticks Men   Belgium Men 0 Score 4 37% Possession 63% 6 Shots 15 16 Circle Entries 34 2 Penalty Corners 4  
Olivia Merry hat trick seals win for the Black Sticks Women over Belgium
The Black Sticks Women have earned their first win in Europe in the FIH Pro League as they have comfortable beaten the Belgium Women 3-0 in Antwerp. The two sides entered the second half tied at nil all, however an Olivia Merry second half hattrick ensured that the Black Sticks Women would take the three competition points. 
 
Olivia Merry commented after the match “We were able to continue to build on things from the Netherlands and will look to build on this again when we take on Great Britain”
 
The Black Sticks started the match in a positive fashion and were rewarded with an early penalty corner, the shot from the penalty corner was run down and the score remained 0-0. The first quarter was an even contest between the two sides with the Black Sticks having five circle entries and one shot and Belgium having four circle entries and two shots. 
 
Early in the second quarter the Belgium team started to apply pressure on the New Zealand defence, despite the large amounts of territory and possession the Belgium side was struggling to convert this to scoreboard pressure. Overall Belgium had the majority of possession in the second quarter with 66% of the ball, they weren’t able to translate that into any shots on goal however. 
 
The Vantage Black Sticks were looking to play with some increased speed in the second half of the match. They earned their first penalty corner of the second half when Sam Charlton’s shot came off a Belgium player and into a dangerous position, off the subsequent penalty corner Olivia Merrys shot hit a Belgium foot on the line resulting in a penalty stroke. Merry then calmly stepped up to the spot and converted the stroke. Belgium then stormed down the other end of the field and had some great scoring opportunities, however some insane goal line defence by the Black Sticks denied the Belgium team. Late in the third quarter Olivia Merry had her second goal of the match when her diving deflection in the circle found its way past the Belgium goalkeeper. 
 
The Black Sticks ramped up the pressure on the Belgium defence as the fourth quarter began. With one minute to go in the match Olivia Merry completed her hat trick for the match as she sealed the comfortable win for the New Zealand side.  
 
Vantage Black Sticks Women 2 (Olivia Merry 36, 44 min)
Belgium Women 0
 
By the numbers:
  Vantage Black Sticks Women   Belgium Women 3 Score 0 41% Possession 59% 4 Shots 5 18 Circle Entries 12 3 Penalty Corners 3 56% Passing Accuracy 54%  

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