|May 11th, 2013|
|11||Round Robin||3:30pm||CAN - BEL||2 - 5 (1 - 3)||Final||x 11|
The crowd was waiting with anticipation this match between two serious contenders for a ticket to the next round of the Hockey World League, still unbeaten in this competition. Belgium immediately staked their claim on the match, Tom Boon opening the scoring in the first minute of play on a cross from the left. They kept pushing to try and make an immediate break, but the Canadians held tight and even threatened the Belgian goal a few times. However, the next chance was for Sebastien Dockier, exploiting well a messy situation in the circle to establish a 2-goal lead for Belgium.
Ensued a period of Canadian domination, rewarded by a goal by Iain Smythe after some hard work by Matt Guest progressing along the back line. Pushed around at the beginning of the period by the experienced Belgians, the Canadians were now holding their ground tightly, well backed by Dave Carter in good form in goal. Mark Person had an opportunity on a cross that rolled in front of goal, but his spectacular dive was just short. Florent Van Aubel was more realistic at the other end, scoring a 3rd goal for Belgium just before half-time, reached on the score of 3-1.
Belgium immediately pushed forward in second period, expertly forcing an early penalty-corner converted by Tom Boon, his 12th goal of the competition. Canada survived 2 more penalty-corners in quick succession and reacted well, Scott Tupper scoring at the other end after a mistraped penalty-corner that nevertheless came back quickly to him in the circle.
Play was flowing back and forth in attractive way. Canada was sometimes stretched and committing unforced errors, immediately exploited by Belgium for some swift counterattacks that often forced Dave Carter to rush out of his goal. With time passing, and a few Canadian players temporarily out of commission with injuries, Belgium controlled more and more the proceedings. They did not score more goals… until the final seconds of the match, when Sebastien Dockier pushed the score to 5-2 for a 5th Belgian win, and a sure qualification for the next round of the Hockey World League.
Canada were never overwhelmed but, just like France two days before, could not close the gap with the more experienced Belgians.