Hockey World Cup: Netherlands crush Canada, to face India in quarters

Hockey World Cup: Netherlands crush Canada, to face India in quarters
Players in action during the Hockey World Cup crossover match between Netherlands and Canada.

Bhubaneswar: Three-time champions Netherlands Thursday mauled lower-ranked Canada 5-0 in the final crossover match to set up a quarterfinal clash against hosts India in the men's hockey World Cup, here.

In the other match, Pakistan's miserable campaign at the tournament finally came to an end after Olympic silver medallists Belgium thrashed the four-time champions 5-0.

Dominating the proceedings, Netherlands scored five field goals through Lars Balk (16th minute), Robert Kemperman (20th), Thijs van Dam (40th, 58th) and Thierry Brinkman (41st) to register the comfortable win at the Kalinga Stadium.

Netherlands will now play India in the last-eight round on Thursday.

In the match between world no. 4 Netherlands and world no.11 Canada, the Dutch were early aggressor as they made continuous forays.

The Canadians, on the other hand, preferred to sit back and defend while looking for counters to surprise their opponents.

Canadian goalkeeper Andrew Charter too made a number of brilliant saves to keep his side in the hunt.

The Netherlands' first chance came in the ninth minute but Charter came out of his line to pull off brilliant save and deny Bob de Voogd.

Seven seconds from the first quarter Netherlands earned their first penalty corner but Mink van der Weerden's attempt sailed over the goal.

After 15 minutes of resistance, Canada's resolute defence finally broke down seconds into the second quarter when an unmarked Lars Balk sliding try from Glenn Schuurman's pass found the back of the net past Charter.

Seconds later Netherlands got a golden chance to double their lead when they were awarded a penalty stroke but Charter once again came to his side's rescue to keep away Jeroen Hertzberger's try.

The Netherlands, however, doubled their lead in the 20th minute through Robert Kemperman, who slap shot from top of the circle found the Canadian net for the second time in the game.

Canada's James Wallace feeble try from close range was then easily parried away by Dutch goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak.

Chances came thick and fast for the Netherlands as Thierry Brinkman was the next to be denied by Charter before the Canadian goalie pulled off another fine save to keep away Hertzberger's reverse hit.

The Dutch resumed the second half at the same pace and continued to mount attacks on the opposition goal and in the process secured back-to-back penalty corners in the 38th minute but the chances went wasted.

The Netherlands tripled their lead in the 40th minute Van Dam scored from a rebound after Seve van Ass's initial shot was saved by Canada keeper Charter.

A minute later, the Dutchmen extended their lead when Brinkman pushed in an open goal after being set up by Kemperman, who beat three Canadian defenders with his brilliant stick work.

After wasting another penalty corner, Netherlands made the scoreline 5-0 in their favour two minutes from full time through Van Dam's second goal of the day.

Players in action during the Hockey World Cup crossover match between Belgium and Pakistan.

Belgium knockout Pakistan

Staring the match as favourites, the Red Lions toyed with the Pakistani defence which somehow managed to hold on in the opening 10 minutes.

But once Alexander Hendricks (10th minute) converted a penalty corner, the Pakistani defence broke apart and gates opened up for Belgium.

Besides, Hendricks, skipper Thomsa Briels (13th), Cedric Charlier (27th), Sebastian Dockier (35th) and Tom Boon (53rd) were the other goal getters for Belgium.

While Pakistan will pack their bags and return home, Belgium will take Germany in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

The Red Lions, ranked third in the world, came into the match as outright favourites against the World No. 13 Pakistan and they played like champions, dominating the proceedings for major part of the 60 minutes.

Belgium's first scoring chance came from the very first move in the form of a penalty corner but the Pakistani defence did enough to thwart the danger.

Belgium kept up the pressure on the fragile Pakistani defence and secured back-to-back penalty corners in the 10th minute, the second of which was converted by Hendricks with a powerful low flick to the left corner of the goal.

Three minutes later, Belgium doubled their lead through skipper Briels, who deflected in after being set up by Nicols de Kerpel's fine work pass from the right flank.

Pakistan improved their game in the second quarter and made some impressive moves but they lacked ideas once inside the opposition circle.

The final pass was lacking from the Pakistanis as a result of which their build-ups hardly troubled the Belgian defence.

Pakistan earned their first penalty corner in the 16th minute but wasted the opportunity while opting for a variation.

Minutes later Ali Shan's reverse hit from inside the box sailed over the Belgium goal.

The missed chances hurt Pakistan as Belgium extended their lead three minutes from half time through Charlier whose reverse hit from a tight angle found the back of the net after a getting a slight deflection of Pakistani skipper Ammad Butt's sticks.

Five minutes after the change of ends, Belgium made the scoreline 4-0 through Dockier, who pushed in after a fine one-two touch play from Charlier and Simon Gougnard.

While Belgium wasted two more penalty corners in the third quarter, Pakistan too got a short corner but Ali Mubashar's attempt went wide.

Down by four goals, Pakistan knew it was the end of the road for them. It was a one way thereafter as Belgium made all the forays and earned two more penalty corners in the process. The last penalty corner resulted in a penalty stroke as the ball hit the body of a Pakistani defender and Boon made no mistake in converting the chance.

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