Four matches took place on the third day of action at the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017, with Belgium thrashing Spain 5-0 and Netherlands and Argentina drawing an equal 3-3 score.
The game began with. Talented youngster from Netherlands, Thierry Brinkman showing a killer instinct in front of goal in the 12th minute, smashing home the opening goal of the game with a wonderful first time strike past onrushing Argentina goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi.
The Netherlands doubled their lead in the third quarter when Valentin Verga was allowed to charge into the circle unchallenged before unleashing a vicious shot into the bottom right corner, giving the Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallists a mountain to climb.
It was a challenge that Los Leones accepted wholeheartedly, dragging themselves level with two improvised goals following mis-trapped penalty corners. Matias Rey netted just before the end of the third quarter, with the influential Lucas Vila brilliantly converting a close-range deflection into the top corner with ten minutes remaining.
The Netherlands moved back ahead with five minutes left to play when Mirco Pruijser scored from a penalty corner, but Argentina refused to be beaten and claimed a dramatic 3-3 draw thanks to yet another crucial penalty corner strike from Gonzalo Peillat with less than a minute remaining. It was a fitting conclusion to a thrilling game that was enjoyed by another big crowd at Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium, although the result left both teams in the bottom half of the Pool A table.
“If you are two goals ahead and then one goal up with half a minute to play then you really should win the game, so we’ll need to take a look at that but it was a good game to watch”, said Joep de Mol of the Netherlands, the Junior Player of the Match, presented by ONGC. “It is nice to get the appreciation with the junior prize, but I’d prefer to have win 3-2 and somebody else gets the award.”
The competition continues on Monday 4th December with two matches in Pool B. Reigning world and Hockey World League champions Australia face England at 1730 Indian Standard Time (UTC: +5.30) before home favourites India take on pool leaders Germany at 1930.
RESULTS – DAY 3
Pool A: Belgium 5, Spain 0.
Man of the Match, presented by Odisha New Opportunities: Arthur van Doren (BEL)
Junior Player of the Match, presented by ONGC: Arthur de Sloover (BEL)
Pool A: Netherlands 3, Argentina 3.
Man of the Match, presented by Odisha New Opportunities: Valentin Verga (NED)
Junior Player of the Match, presented by ONGC: Joep de Mol (NED)