Belgium were clinical as they beat Great Britain’s Men 4-0 at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre to inflict the second home defeat of the weekend in front of another large crowd.
Great Britain were unlucky to go down 3-2 to Argentina on Saturday and the Belgian encounter went the same way, except instead of mounting a fourth quarter comeback, Belgium took advantage of an empty goal to score their fourth goal.
Surbiton’s Harry Gibson played in goal for the first half, Great Britain having a great chance to open the scoring in the ninth minute, Surbiton’s Alan Forsyth setting up a scoring chance for Phil Roper, only for Belgian goalkeeper, Vincent Vanasch to save.
Belgium took the lead in the 13th minute, Tom Boon finding Florent van Aubel on the right of the circle, Gibson unable to save the resulting shot.
Will Calnan also forced a save from Vanasch and Gibson made a fine save to prevent Boon doubling the Belgian lead four minutes before half time.
Great Britain competed well with the world champions but Belgium pulled away in the second half.
George Pinner took over in goal at half time and was unlucky in the 39th minute when John-John Dohmen put away a rebound from a penalty corner to double Belgium’s lead.
Four minutes later, the fortunes were not with Pinner again as for the second time, having made a save, the rebound was finished from short range by Thomas Briels to give Belgium a 3-0 lead.
Vanasch denied Roper for a second time and with five minutes remaining and GB still trailing 3-0, Head Coach Danny Kerry made the last throw of the dice and took off Pinner to field eleven outfield players.
Belgium took advantage with three minutes remaining, Dohmen scoring his second goal of the game to seal the victory.
Although Sam Ward had a late chance for a consolation goal from a penalty corner, Great Britain’s players will be severely disappointed with the final scoreline considering they competed well and were only beaten due to Belgium’s clinical finishing.
Surbiton’s Gibson, Forsyth and Brendan Creed were all in the GB starting lineup whilst Zach Wallace came on as a third minute substitute; James Gall followed a minute later and Tom Sorsby entered the pitch in the eighth minute.
After the game, Wallace summed up Great Britain’s weekend, “The Argentina game was frustrating because we didn’t take our chances“.
Wallace added, “Today, we simply came up against a better team. Belgium are at a more advanced stage than we are, because Danny [Kerry] only took over the Men’s team a few months ago.”
More information about the Men’s FIH Pro League can be found at the FIH website
The Great Britain Hockey match report can be read at the GB Hockey website