Double joy for Germany against Belgium in FIH Pro Hockey League
The men’s and women’s national teams of Germany both registered wins in the second matches of their respective double headers against Belgium in the FIH Hockey Pro League.
In the first match on Wednesday, Germany’s women made it two wins from two against the Red Panthers, with Hannah Gablac, Cecile Pieper and Rebecca Grote all hitting the target in a 3-1 victory. Ambre Ballenghien put Belgium ahead with a superb penalty corner drag-flick in the 21st minute, before Gablac restored parity three minutes later. Pieper and Grote netted penalty corners in the third and fourth quarters respectively, ensuring that the hosts claimed a second win in two days against the visitors.
With two wins from their opening two matches in the current Pro League season, Germany have moved up to the fifth spot in the standings.
Meanwhile, Germany’s men shook off the disappointment of Tuesday’s 1-6 loss at the hands of Belgium to produce an excellent display in match two, battling to a 1-1 draw before claiming the bonus point by winning the shoot-out.
The hosts took a lead when Florian Fuchs touched home a defence-splitting pass from team captain Tobias Hauke in the 24th minute, before Belgium finally pulled level eleven minutes from the end, thanks to Loick Luypaert’s deflected penalty corner drag-flick.
Belgium were denied goal-scoring opportunities on numerous occasions by goalkeeper Alexander Stadler, who produced a string of fine saves in regular time to earn a crucial point for Germany against the reigning World and European champions.
Stadler was almost single-handedly responsible for Germany’s bonus point, making some wonderful blocks to keep a clean sheet in the shoot-out, with Christopher Ruhr’s converted effort being enough for a 1-0 win in the one-on-ones.
While Belgium remain well clear at the top of the standings, two points for Germany has seen Die Honamas move off the bottom of the table to seventh position.
The next Pro League matches will take place in October, with the men and women of the Netherlands and Great Britain taking on each other in Amstelveen (NED).