Olympic champions Belgium will have to be wary of Germany’s comeback spirit in Sunday’s final here if they are to become only the fourth team to defend their title at the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup.
So far only Pakistan, Australia and Germany have won two consecutive titles in the World Cup. Having made a vibrant presence in world hockey in the last decade, Belgium will leave no stone unturned to induct themselves into this list. He won the title in 2018 at the same Kalinga Stadium.
11 Belgian players are above 30 years and three players are above 35 years of age. His team won the World Cup four years ago and the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics last year. His players have shown that they are fully fit and experience matters more than age.
Belgium’s team consists mostly of the same players who won the World Cup and then the Olympic gold medal four years ago.
It is very difficult to find fault with the Belgian team. Apart from flamboyant strikers and strong defenders, their team also includes good penalty corner specialists. They have one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Vincent Vanash.
Belgium have scored 18 goals in the ongoing tournament so far, with star striker Tom Boon scoring the top seven goals. Belgium have conceded only five goals so far.
World No. 2 Belgium, however, will have to be wary of Germany’s never-say-die attitude and fighting spirit. So far in the World Cup, Germany has come back twice from 0-2 down to win and make it to the finals.
Germany, two-time champions (2002 and 2006), were trailing by two goals against England in the quarter-finals but scored two goals in the last two and a half minutes to equalize and then win on penalties.
In Friday’s semi-final against Australia, world number four Germany trailed 0-2 at half-time but their never-say-die spirit came into play as they scored a goal with just six seconds left to seal the final. made a place in
“We have a lot of respect for the German team that managed to come back and win the tournament twice,” said Belgium head coach Michel van der Heuvel. Doing this is part of their sports culture.
Belgium captain Felix Denayer said, “It is not easy to face Germany. Hopefully we will give our best in this last match. We will prepare our strategy after assessing his game.
The German team will try to win their first title since 2006. It will aim to join the club of three teams that have won the tournament three or more times.
Germany captain Mats Grambusch said, “We have to trust our ability and our mental strength. The way we controlled the ball against Australia was unbelievable and we want to keep that up. We want to win the World Cup.
Before the final, a bronze medal match would be played between the losers of the semi-finals, Australia and the Netherlands.