Bhubaneswar: Olympic silver medallists Belgium clinched their maiden World Cup title after beating three-time champions Netherlands in sudden death after the shootout in the pulsating gold medal match at the Kalinga Stadium here on Sunday.
Belgium have now become the sixth nation to lift the World Cup.
After playing a goalless draw in regulation time, the tie headed for the shootout which also failed to yield a result as both sides were locked at 2-2 after the five shots.
In sudden death, Belgium’s Florent van Aubel scored in his very first attempt to guide his side to the gold medal before Joreon Hertzberger of the Dutch side missed the chance and had to settle for the silver.
The tie started with both sides tightening their respective defence in the first quarter and neither were adventurous enough, like they are known to be, to attack at full strength.
The second quarter witnessed a similar style of play even though both sides would have loved to head to half time with a goal’s advantage.
After the breather, both sides stepped on the gas in the third quarter but the outcome hardly changed and the deadlock continued till the end of the final quarter, taking the contest to the shootout.
Earlier, Tom Craig scored thrice while Jeremy Hayward’s brace helped Australia thrash England 8-1 in the bronze medal match.
Australia controlled the proceedings right from the start. England found the back of the net in the 45th minute via Barry Middleton.
For Australia, apart from Craig (ninth minute, 19th, 34th) and Hayward (57th, 60th), Blake Govers (eighth), Timothy Brand (34th) and Trent Mitton (32nd) found the back of the net to complete the thrashing.
This is Belgium’s first ever World Cup title.