Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], January 30 (ANI): Following the loss to Germany in the final of the recently-concluded FIH Men's Hockey World Cup, Belgium skipper Felix Denayer admitted that winning the tournament could have been another great chapter in the country's hockey history.
Germany produced an outstanding performance and scripted an incredible penalty shootout victory against Belgium to win the FIH Hockey World Cup for the third time on Sunday.
"This would have been another chapter. We are the Olympic champions, European champions and were the defending champions heading into the tournament," said Felix in a post-match press conference.
Belgium has registered one World Cup win so far, back in 2018.
The skipper said that the atmosphere while playing in India was brilliant.
"India was absolutely brilliant as a host. As an athlete, you love to play in this kind of atmosphere," said Felix.
Despite the loss, skipper was proud of his side's performance.
"We scored two early goals and goalkeeper did a great job saving a stroke. Germany is a great side. We showed resilience," said Felix.
Belgium coach Michel van den Heuvel said that his team is a fantastic group that "takes responsibility and will answer back with their performances in next 1.5 years."
"When you do well then opponents try to work you out. We will have to be resilient," concluded Michel.
After falling behind by two goals early on in the game, the German side won the match 5-4 in the shootout.
The Germans defeated the reigning champions at Bhubaneshwar in the summit match after coming back from a two-goal deficit thanks to goals from Niklas Wellen, Gonzalo Peillat, and Mats Grambusch.
Within the first ten minutes, Belgium jumped out to a 2-0 lead, which was the finest conceivable start. The Belgian side took the lead after Florent van Aubel's goal in the ninth minute, and they increased it to two goals in the tenth.
Belgium appeared on autopilot until Tanguy Cosyns put the ball in the goal. In the second quarter, Germany exerted pressure. Niklas Wellen scored from a penalty corner to give Germany a point despite missing a penalty shot.
When the game was evenly poised in the 40th minute, Peillat rose to the occasion and converted a penalty corner to make it 2-2.
The Germans subsequently took the lead in the 48th minute, sending the crowd into a frenzy as they sought to complete another comeback victory after defeating Australia and England in similar circumstances earlier in the tournament.
Tom Boon scored from a penalty corner in the 58th minute to tie the score at 3-3 and send the game into a shootout after Belgium applied pressure into the German circle after being alarmed by the goal.
Belgium and Germany both scored on their opening shots, but Arthur de Sloover missed his opportunity to give Germany the lead. After that, Hannes Muller scored, and Victor Wegnez ultimately missed his opportunity to make it 2-1 in the shootout.
As Cosyns scored to tie it 2-2, Marco Miltkau's attempt to add to the tension was unsuccessful. After Thies Prinz's shot made it 3-2, Antoine Kina immediately equalised the score. Grambusch then wasted a crucial opportunity to win it as we reached sudden death with everything on the line.
To increase the suspense around the game, Wellen and Van Aubel made the score 4-4. Germany won after Belgium missed their final shot and Frinz converted a fantastic effort to make it 5-4. (ANI)