Bhubaneswar, Dec 3: A belligerent Belgium rode on a hat-trick by Loic Luypaert to register their second successive win in the Men’s Hockey World League Finals (HWLF) as they spanked lower-ranked Spain 5-0 in a Pool A match at the Kalinga Stadium here Sunday.
Luypaert struck in the 38th, 57th and 59th minutes respectively to ensure the emphatic victory. Florent van Abuel and Cedric Charlier struck in the third and 58th minutes respectively.
Belgium opened their account early on, when Florent van Abuel charged from the right flank to sound the board with an acrobatic dive. Spain had a couple of opportunities to restore parity in the first quarter but missed their chances.
Belgium got a penalty corner in the 20th minute, but failed to utilise with Spain goalkeeper Quico Cortes making a smart save. Cortes was again at the right place at the right time to palm away Amaury Keusters fierce hit.
However, Belgium stamped their authority after the change of ends. They got a penalty corner in the 38th minute and Luypaert converted it with elan to make it 2-0.
In the last quarter Spain showed some resilience but then Belgium caught them thrice on the counter-attack. Luypaert scored his second goal from the penalty corner, Charlier then scored a brilliant field goal to make it 4-0 in Belgium’s favour. With just a minute to go, Spain conceded a penalty and Luypaert made no mistake to end a night of misery for their rivals.
Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra