|June 23rd, 2013|
|24||Final||4:30pm||BEL - AUS||2 - 2 (0 - 1) (7 - 6 SO)||Final||x 27|
Belgium – Australia 3-2 (0-1 halftime) (7-6 shootout)
The final between Australia and Belgium at the Rabobank Hockey World League tournament in Rotterdam lived up to expectations as Belgium claimed the first-ever title at the event in a dramatic nine-round shootout victory.
There was no shortage of drama in the game as Belgium came back from a one-goal deficit to take a 2-1 lead only to see it erased in the last minute by a Russell Ford strike. The shootout was no less dramatic as it took an amazing nine rounds to settle things. It was only when Chris Ciriello shot wide on the final Australian chance that the game was decided and Belgium could celebrate it first-ever title at a top-level FIH event.
It was a battle throughout the 70 minutes with neither team giving the other much breathing space. Australia’s Christopher Ciriello broke the stalemate doing what he does best – firing in drag flicks. Ciriello put all his might into the flick on a diving effort that hit the far corner of the goal and lifted Australia to a 1-0 lead 21 minutes into the game.
It was a lot of back-and-forth with the Aussies showing a little more strength as the game wore on. But Tom Boon sparked Belgium to life when he got his stick on the ball with a well-timed deflection that sent the ball top shelf for the equalizing goal in the 49th minute.
Sebastien Dockier was left unchecked at point blank range in front of the Australia net and it cost the World #2 team dearly as he was fed a centering pass that he easily popped in to give the Belgians the 2-1 lead with 11 minutes to go in the game with 11 minutes to go in the game.
Russell Ford struck with exactly 60 seconds left on the clock deflecting the ball up and over Belgian goaltender Vincent Vanash to tie the game at two and send the game to a deciding shootout.
The game was a rematch of a preliminary round meeting between the two teams, which Belgium won, 3-1. Ultimately, that win gave Belgian the easier road to the final game as the top seed out of their preliminary round.
The win gives the ninth-ranked Belgians their first-ever victory at a top-tier FIH event, a true feather in the cap for the country, which has shot up the FIH World Ranking and enjoyed massive success in the last few years. It is also a major momentum builder for the Belgians for the EuroHockey Championship, which they will host.
|June 23rd, 2013 at 9:24 am||NED: We're 10 minutes away from final game in Rotterdam, who will be the Round 3 men's winner - Belgium or Australia?|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 9:37 am||NED: And we're off!! Belgium vs. Australia is underway -- get ready for an exciting final!|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 9:56 am||NED: We're past the halfway mark of the first half and Belgium and Australia are still looking for the first elusive goal|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 9:59 am||NED: Goal Australia! Christopher Ciriello scores on a diving flick into the lower left corner|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 10:14 am||NED: Australia takes the slim 1-0 lead into the half -- get ready for a showdown in the last half of action in Rotterdam!|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 10:34 am||NED: About 10 minutes are gone in the second half and Ciriello's goal still stands as the lone marker in the final game.|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 10:36 am||NED: Boon deflects in the 1-1 goal for Belgium with 24 minutes left in the game|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 10:50 am||NED: Dockier is left unchecked at point blank range in front of the net and pops in the go-ahead 2-1 goal for Belgium.|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:00 am||NED: With one minute left Ford deflects the ball up and over the Belgian goalie -- we've got a tie game!|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:03 am||NED: We're going to a shootout to see who will win the World League tournament title here in Rotterdam!!|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:06 am||NED: Australia makes their first shootout goal|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:07 am||NED: Belgium #10 misses the first shot -- Aus leads 1-0 after the first round of shooters|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:07 am||NED: Belgium makes the save on Dwyer on Australia's second shot.|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:08 am||NED: van Abel scores. After two round the teams are tied at 1-1|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:09 am||NED: Australia's Orchard scores his goal in the third round of the shootout|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:10 am||NED: Lyapaert slaps on in from the top of the circle -- tied at 2-2 after three rounds|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:10 am||NED: Australia makes their fourth chance -- Mitton the scorer|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:11 am||NED: Belgium with a great goal to make it 3-3 after four rounds van Doren the scorer|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:12 am||NED: Ciriello converts his chance and gives Aus the 4-3 lead -- one shooter left for Belgium a must make|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:13 am||NED: And Belgium holds up to the pressure -- we're going to extra shooters with the shootout tied a 4-4|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:15 am||NED: Luypaert is fouled on his chance and is shaken up on the play -- a replacement player will take the shot|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:17 am||NED: van Aubel steps in to take the shot, but his shot is saved|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:18 am||NED: Australia is up to shoot and the save is made, we're going to our 7th shooter|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:19 am||NED: Cosyns scores on the 7th shot, they have the one-goal lead with Australia up next|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:19 am||NED: Australia scores as well -- time for the 8th shooters to step up. Orchard the scorer|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:20 am||NED: van Doren scores on his chance -- Aussies turn to tie things up|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:21 am||NED: Australia makes the shot -- time for shooter #9 for both teams....phew this could go on all night!|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:21 am||NED: Gougnard, replacing injured Luypaert scores on the 9th Belgian attempt|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:22 am||NED: Ciriello shoots wide on Australia's 9th shooter and Belgium claims the tournament trophy!!|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:23 am||NED: Once again - Belgium wins the Rotterdam World League title after a dramatic nine-round shootout. Congratulations to them!|
|June 23rd, 2013 at 11:34 am||LONDON: England takes a 1-0 lead against Australia one rebound shot after a drag flick|