FIH Pro League 2020, Belgium vs Germany, Hockey News: After a mixed day yesterday, the hosts Germany had a double joy as its men and women teams recorded wins in the FIH Pro League at Dusseldorf on Wednesday. Though in the men’s section, it was a win in the penalty shootout, it was a clear 3-1 win for Germany in the women’s game.
Germany took the bonus point in the shoot-out thanks largely to a brilliant goalkeeping display from Alexander Stadler, who kept a clean-sheet in the one-on-ones. Belgium’s Arthur de Sloover thought he had levelled the scores in the shoot-out, but a video referral showed that his converted effort came from the back of his stick, giving Germany the bonus point.
An entertaining match finished with the scores locked at 1-1. Fuchs scored the opening goal in the second quarter, with Luypaert levelled in the fourth period. Yesterday, the World Cup champions Belgium had beaten Germany 6-1. But today, it was the home team that had better exchanges and dominated proceedings.
It was in the 23rd minute that Germany took the lead. Goal to Germany! It was a typical poacher’s goal from Florian Fuchs, who touched home from close range following a perfect, defence splitting pass from Honamas captain Tobias Hauke.
With German leading, the visitors were hard pressed for the equaliser. As the pressure was building, there was a degree of good fortune about Belgium’s equaliser. A low penalty corner from Loick Luypaert took a huge deflection off the stick of Christopher Rühr, deceiving the keeper and sailing into the top left corner. And the teams were level 1-1.
After a brilliant performance both in the match and the shoot-out, Germany goalkeeper Alexander Stadler has been named as the Player of the Match. It was certainly deserved. Germany moved up to seventh in the FIH Hockey Pro League standings, although Belgium remained well clear at the top of the pile.
Player of the Match Alexander Stadler said after the contest: “Our team did very well. We had wanted to get more spirit and more effort, and for the team to defend better and we did that. We did pretty well today. The difference [from yesterday and today] was that we defended better. There was a really good spirit with the team today.”