Hockey World League Final: Great Britain stun Australia, Belgium rout Canada
World champions Australia were shocked 2-5 by Great Britain while Belgium spanked lowly Canada 7-2.
Raipur: World champions Australia were shocked 2-5 by Great Britain while Belgium spanked lowly Canada 7-2 in high-scoring second round Pool A matches of the Hockey World League (HWL) Final, here on Sunday.
The world no. 4 British side stunned Kookaburras by striking early when Henry Weir and Chris Grassick (13th) scored two field goals to race to a 2-0 lead at the end of first quarter at the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Stadium.
Dragflicker Jeremy Hayward pulled one back for Australia in the 17th minute by converting a penalty corner.
Six minutes later, Great Britain regained their two-goal lead when Ian Sloan scored from a set piece to go into the halfway mark leading 3-1.
Two minutes into the second half, Great Britain extended their lead through David Condon's field strike.
Australia, known for their fighting spirit, tried to forge a strong comeback thereafter and in the process scored a field goal through Matt Gohdes' fierce backhand strike from top of the circle in the 47th minute.
Trailing, Australia pressed hard for goals and managed to put pressure on Britain defence but the British backline somehow kept the ball away from the net.
To add to Australia's wounds, Phil Roper (49th) scored another field goal for Great Britain from a counter attack to make the scoreline 5-2.
Australia continued to attack but somehow failed to break the resolute Great Britain defence.
Earlier, in the first match of the day, world no.7 Belgium of spanked lowly Canada 7-2 to register their first win in the tournament.
Belgium dominated the proceedings in the opening half and toyed with the defence to pump in as many as four brilliant field goals in the first quarter with a span of six minutes.
Sebastien Dockier opened the scoring for Belgium in the ninth minute before Florent van Aubel (12th), Thomas Briels (13th) and Jerome Truyens (14th) scored three more quick field goals to take a commanding 4-0 lead.
The scoreline could have been 5-0 for Belgium in the opening 15 minutes when they scored another from a penalty corner situation but the goal was disallowed after Canada went for the referral.
Belgium continued to put pressure on Canada in the second quarter but failed to break its defence.
Canada pulled one back in the 29th minute when Mark Pearson scored from a rebound from a penalty corner situation as both Belgium went into the breather with a 4-1 lead.
Canada witnessed a brief spell of possession in the third quarter and scored a fine field goal in the 44th minute through Devohn Noronha Teixeira to make the scoreline 4-2.
Belgium wasted a golden opportunity in the 39th minute when Tom Boon failed to score from a penalty with the Canadian custodian pulling off a fine save.
But it was all Belgium in the fourth and final quarter as Belgium pumped in three more goals to register a convincing win.
Arthur van Doren (50th) and Boon (54th) converted two penalty corners in a span of four minutes before van Aubel scored his second goal of the day two minutes from the final hooter.
With two wins from as many matches, Great Britain moved to the top of Pool A, while Belgium occupy the second spot ahead of Australia by virtue of a better goal difference. Canada is at the bottom after two losses.
Australia will play Canada in their last pool match on Tuesday while Belgium and Great Britain will lock horns in the final group match of the tournament.