Louise Versaval scored a hat trick of goals to give Belgium its first win and a chance to qualify for quarter finals of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup in London on Saturday. The win, 6-3, over Asian contender Japan, came from perhaps one of the tallest scoring game of the tournament so far. Incidentally five of the nine goals scored in the match came from penalty corners.
If Belgium won the first half 4-0, it was Japan that asserted its supremacy with a 3-2 margin in the second half.
At one stage, it looked as if Belgium would run away with a huge win as it led 4-9 at the breather.Scoring at regular intervals, Belgium set the scoring in motion with a goal by Judith Vandermeiren in the seventh minute. The goal came from Belgium’s first penalty corner and its only second in the tournament.
The architect of Belgium’s big win was Jill Boon who not only scored the second goal in the 17th minute but also paved way for the next two goals by Anne Sophie Weyns and Louise Versavel.
Louise Versavel subsequently scored fifth and sixth goals for her team as well in the 39th and 47th minutes.
Akiko Katu brought Japan back into game with a neat penalty corner deflection in the 35th minute. Like what Japan did in the opening game against Australia, it scored twice against Belgium as well in the 50th and 57th minute through Kana Nomura and Hazuki Nagai. Both these goals came from penalty corners. Incidentally Japan has been the only Asian team so far to have recorded an outright win. It beat New Zealand. Other Asian teams – India, Korea and China – have remained winless so far.