|August 5th, 2012|
|19||Pool B||8:30am||NZL - BEL||1 - 1 (0 - 0)||Final|
New Zealand and Belgium kept the crowd well entertained with end-to-end attacking hockey but could only produce one goal each.
Belgium were the faster in action and Kyle Pontifex in goal for New Zealand was called three times into action in the opening minutes. New Zealand managed to weather the initial storm, including on a penalty-corner, and play soon became more balanced. Belgium had a few more dangerous chances and Pontifex was the busiest player on the pitch.
Play remained fast and entertaining for the whole first period, with chances at both ends. Belgium had a powerful push in the last ten minutes of the period and New Zealand were clearly back on their heels. They were at a point down to 9 players on the pitch after two green cards, and Belgium peppered the goal with shots, but Pontifex once again kept the Black Sticks afloat with some steady saves.
The same pattern resumed in second period, Pontifex having to make a save in the opening minute. The end-to-end action was keeping the crowd roaring, but it is only in the 50th minute that the Belgian fans could cheer in earnest, when Tom Boon was at the conclusion of a series of quick passes in the circle to lift the ball over the Black Sticks’ goalkeeper. Belgium could have increased the score soon after on a penalty-corner but Jerome Dekeyser’s flick was not powerful enough.
New Zealand came back in the match soon after by Nicholas Wilson after a strong solitary progression on the back line, and it was back to square one for the two teams. Both teams played for the win and action was fast and furious until the end, but the defense did not flinch.
With rain starting to pour on the Riverbank Arena, New Zealand had a last chance in the final minute but Andrew Hayward’s flick hit the post and the teams had to share the points of the contest, leaving them both with one win, one draw and two losses in the standings.
Thomas BRIELS (BEL)
On the match: "In the first half we had a lot of chances, had the upper hand, but their keeper played a brilliant game. We were denied a goal when the umpire didn't play advantage. In the second half we scored a goal but gave away a stupid goal. It's a pitty - we had three points in the bag. Two times the umpire didn't blow for advantage and gave corners which were then rejected (by New Zealand team referrals)."
On how Belgium have played at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and how they will approach their final pool match: "We had good goalscoring chances but didn't score - we came here to win and we have to play 100% to beat India."
Tom BOON (BEL)
On the match:"The (New Zealand) goalkeeper had some very good saves; we had lots of chances. It was a very disappointing result as we dominated the first half. We expect a lot of ourselves but it was never an easy game."
On the BOON family's Olympic Games after sister Jill scored for Belgium's women's team on Saturday: "My mother and father are here and they have been very supportive. My family have supported us in every game in the Olmypics and in Belgium, and my sister (Jill) was watching (this match) in the village."
Jeffrey THYS (BEL)
On how Belgium played against New Zealand: "We dominated and had a lot of chances. Their goalkeeper (Kyle PONTIFEX, NZL) did a good job there but if you don't put the ball in the net then there is nothing to say. Even in the second half, we dominated them until they made it 1-1 out of nothing. After that it was a tight game as both teams went for a win. Today we jut dominated 65 minutes but it is a problem if you don't score."
On the rest of Belgium's tournament: "Today we have a point. Let's see what Korea does. Our job is to win against India and then we have seven points and a big chance to be in third position. That means we have a game for the fifth and sixth place. That would be a good result for us."
On defending a last-minute New Zealand penalty corner: "At that moment, you mentally switch off and you just have to stop the corner. Everything else including the crowd becomes silent. We were a bit lucky with the post. Fortunately for us it hit the outside of the post and not the inside."
Maxime LUYCX (BEL)
On the result: "I'm not really satisfied because we wanted to win this game and we had a lot of chances to score."
On Belgium's overall performance at London 2012: "We now know that we can compete with every team from the top eight in the world, but we really wanted to win against New Zealand because we want to play the fifth and sixth place (classification match). We now have to focus on India and win it otherwise we will miss our main goal."
On the areas Belgium need to improve: "Now we are playing really well but we are still missing some details. We had a lot of chances and if you look at Germany, they don't need 20 occasions to score. We had a lot of chances and we scored only one goal. It's not enough if we really want to compete with the top six."
Kyle PONTIFEX (NZL)
On losing the chance of qualifying for the semifinals: "Very disappointing. That was a good, hard-fought game of hockey but not the sort of result we were after unfortunately."
On the team's feelings: "I think the team will be pretty gutted. We've trained long and hard for this event and unfortunately we haven't performed well enough to get the results we needed to get through. It's a great tournament, every team is very strong and we can only look at ourselves."
On whether he will play at the next Olympic Games in 2016: "I haven't made any decisions yet. Four years is a long time, and I don't know, we'll see. I'm going to take a little break after this (London 2012) to recover and refresh, and then I'll make some decisions later on."
Nicholas WILSON (NZL)
On his equalising goal: "It was great to get on the scoresheet again, but that happiness is also sadness because we can't make the medal rounds now. There was a slight chance if we'd played well, got a few goals and won the game, and if other things went our way we could have made the Olympic (medal) round. Medals are out of place now so we're just going to go for fifth."
On the match: "The team was angry about our last performance, coming off a 5-1 loss against Holland, so we were looking to put a number of goals away against Belgium today. We knew that we could have won the game and there were periods in the game where we should have scored two or three goals."
On what went wrong for New Zealand at London 2012: "The warm-up matches are how we usually play, we just haven't been ourselves this tournament. I don't know what to put it down to, maybe the occasion got to us, or we just didn't play as a team, I think there are a number of things we could put it down to."
On their remaining matches: "We hope to get fifth. It's not over for us and we know our goal, so we're just going to fight on like Kiwis do."
Shane McLEOD (NZL)
On the match and the final result: "I know the Belgium side very well and I think they have some very talented players. For parts of the game they were able to really challenge us. Both teams had quite a bit of turnover (ball) which probably made it an exciting game to watch, but we also had stages that we definitely didn't enjoy."
|August 05th, 2012 at 2:16 am||Match between New Zealand and Belgium just about to start at the Riverbank Arena in London|
|August 05th, 2012 at 2:17 am||Umpires for NZL vs. BEL are Roel VAN EERT (NED) and German MONTES DE OCA (ARG)|
|August 05th, 2012 at 2:17 am||New Zealand have so far won against India (3-1), and lost to Korea (0-2) and The Netherlands (1-5)|
|August 05th, 2012 at 2:18 am||Belgium have also 2 losses and a win; they won against Korea (2-1), and lost to Germany (1-2) and The Netherlands (1-3)|
|August 05th, 2012 at 2:54 am||Very entertaining match between New Zealand and Belgium, many chances at both ends, but no goal after 20 minutes|
|August 05th, 2012 at 2:59 am||Green card for Bradley Shaw (NZL), penalty-corner for Belgium, but no goal. Still NZL-BEL: 0-0|
|August 05th, 2012 at 3:01 am||Green card for Steven Edwards (NZL). new Zealand are playing with 9 players on the pitch|
|August 05th, 2012 at 3:12 am||Plenty of action but no goal in this first half. NZL-BEL: 0-0. Pontifex kept the Black Sticks afloat with some steady saves|
|August 05th, 2012 at 3:22 am||Second half under way at the Riverbank Arena between New Zealand and Belgium. Still 0-0|
|August 05th, 2012 at 3:37 am||Tom Boon at the conclusion of a series of quick passes in the circle for Belgium. NZL-BEL: 0-1|
|August 05th, 2012 at 3:42 am||Nicholas Wilson equalizes for New Zealand after a strong solitary progression on the back line. NZL-BEL: 1-1|
|August 05th, 2012 at 3:58 am||Yellow card to Gauthier Boccard (BEL)|
|August 05th, 2012 at 4:02 am||NZL had a last minute chance on penalty-corner but Andrew Hayward's flick hit the post. NZL-BEL: 1-1|