When the draws for the 2023 FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup was released, all eyes were on matchday two of the pool stage in Bhubaneswar. And boy, did it deliver.
A day after India played out a thrilling 0-0 draw against England, Argentina nearly took all three points against favorites Australia. On Tuesday, two-time champions Germany were seven minutes away from inflicting a first World Cup loss to defending champions Belgium in eight matches.
In their previous five meetings before Tuesday’s match-up, Belgium had scored 17 goals to Germany’s eight having won four matches. On Tuesday, Germany forgot all their recent travails against the Belgians to play out a thrilling 2-2 draw in Pool B.
Against a Belgian side which dominates possession and bides their time, the Germans came up with a clear game plan. Defend deep and hit back with high balls. However, when Cedric Charlier struck in the ninth minute with a ferocious shot, it looked like Germany would be facing yet another night to forget.
Andre Henning’s side had only 17% of possession in the first quarter with just one clear-cut chance falling to Christopher Ruhr in the eighth minute which was saved well by Vincent Vanasch.
Despite being swamped by the experienced Belgians, Germany stuck by their game…