Bhubaneswar, 14 December 2014: England got the better of Belgium 3-2 to claim seventh place at the Hero Men’s Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar, leaving the Red Lions in eighth place overall. It was a high octane battle with Florent van Aubel scoring his first on ten minutes, latching onto a loose finish to fire past George Pinner.
England, though, scored the next three goals to take a 3-1 lead into half-time. David Condon got them going with a slap from the left of the circle following a penalty corner. Condon, once again, was on hand to put the English in front when he arrowed a great finish on the turn past Vincent Vanasch. Chris Griffiths then applied a smart diving touch a couple of seconds before the break.
Belgium held most of the play in the second half with Pinner saving brilliantly from Amaury Keusters and Felix Denayer before van Aubel got a brilliant individual goal to get his back into range with 20 minutes to go. But they were unable to find the equaliser, ultimately leaving England in the winner’s seat in their final game of the week.
Speaking post the win Coach Bobby Crutchley said, “Considering the team’s run in the entire tournament, we performed pretty keeping the fact in mind that couple of players were missing from the squad because of which we could not meet the desired results. There were a few matches in the tournament where we could have performed better but nevertheless it is nice to finish the tour with a win.”
Speaking on the 8th position for the team, Coach Jeroen Delmee said “The team has grown in every match in the tournament and has played better each day. The boys dominated every match and created many opportunities but we lost because we could not convert them. While we dominated the first 3 quarters we faltered in the fourth and were unable to score. We will take this tournament as a learning experience.”