Belgium Red Lions
2018 Men's Hockey World Cup Champions
Thomas Briels (captain), Loic van Doren, Arthur Van Doren, John-John Dohmen, Florent van Aubel, Sébastien Dockier, Cédric Charlier, Gauthier Boccard, Nicolas De Kerpel, Augustin Meurmans, Emmanuel Stockbroekx, Alexander Hendrickx, Félix Denayer, Vincent Vanasch, Simon Gougnard, Arthur De Sloover, Antoine Kina, Loïck Luypaert, Victor Wegnez, Tom Boon.
Head Coach - Shane McLeod
Assistant Coach - Michel van den Heuvel
Assistant Coach - Craig Fulton
Manager - Eric Pirenne
Belgium created history by squeeking out a 3-2 win in the penalty shoot-out after the final match of the Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup ended in a goalless draw. It was a great day for Belgium Hockey as the country registered its second biggest international title after the Olympics silver in Rio in 2016.
The Netherlands took the early initiative and attacked continuously in the first two quarters, Belgium made a strong comeback after the change of ends. Belgium, though, had the first chance but Tom Boon's deflection in the second minute went just wide. Minutes later, Hertzberger's reverse struck the side-netting. It was a midfield slugfest between the two teams as both created chances but lacked the final touch inside the opposition circle.
The Netherlands had two penalty corners in the match but the Red Lions defended stoutly to deny them any inroads. Belgium, on the other hand, failed to secure a single penalty corner in the game. Two minutes after half time, Belgium skipper Thomas Briels' shot was saved by Dutch goalie Blaak. Belgium pressed hard in the final 10 minutes of the game, putting relentless pressure on the Dutch defence but a breakthrough eluded them.
The goalless stalemate in regulation time forced the shootout which also resulted in a 2-2 deadlock after five penalties each in the all-European final.
Hertzberger and Jonas de Geus scored to put them 2-0 ahead before goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch led Belgium’s remarkable turnaround by denying Sev van Ass and Thijs van Dam while Florent van Aubel and Victor Wegnez scored for the Red Lions.
Belgium had begun celebrating when Arthur de Sloover fired home but the Dutch used referrals and replays confirmed the ball had brushed the attacker’s boot, injecting more drama into the contest.
Belgium, however, could not be denied their moment of glory.
Van Aubel scored in sudden death and then man-of-the-match Vanasch forced Hertzberger wide and the Dutchman’s reverse shot sailed over the crossbar to trigger wild celebrations in the Belgian camp.