|December 8th, 2009|
|06||Pool A||2:00pm||BEL - NZL||1 - 4 (1 - 1)||Final|
The game between the Red Devils and the Black Sticks was from the start an intense affair, with both teams having chances in the opening minutes, including a penalty-corner for New Zealand well saved by David van RYSSELBERGHE in the Belgium goal. Play continued back and forth, providing the crowd with an entertaining display of total hockey, but both defenses were vigilant and no goal was scored until the 25th minute, when Dean COUZINS converted a penalty-stroke after their third unsuccessful penalty-corner attempt was stopped illegally.
Belgium came back strongly by Cedric CHARLIER at the conclusion of a long sequence of hard work in the New Zealand circle. He nearly doubled his tally a few minutes later but missed the deflection after a spectacular dive in front of Kyle PONTIFEX. New Zealand had another chance on penalty-corner in the final seconds of the period but were again unsuccessful.
The second half was also fiercely contested, and Belgium averted a few goals, first by Xavier RECKINGER stopping a penalty-corner on the line then by David van RYSSELBERGHE making spectacular saves in front of Simon CHILD. It took another penalty-stroke, this time by Ryan ARCHIBALD, to break the deadlock in the 49th minute.
New Zealand ran away with the score in the final portion of the match, scoring two goals in quick succession, first by Simon CHILD receiving a superb pass by Phillip BURROWS and crucifying the keeper from the top of the circle, then by Hugo INGLIS. With the win, Belgium and India are tied at the top of Pool B with 4 points each.