2nd Men's Test: Belgium 3-1 Great Britain
Old Loughtonian’s Harry Martin scored his first goal in Great Britain colours on the stroke of half time, but it was not enough as Belgium reversed the score-line from yesterday in the midday match in Antwerp. Star striker Tom Boon bagged himself a brace in a victory that will give Belgium great confidence ahead of their participation in the upcoming FIH Champions Challenge I in South Africa.
The opening period was evenly matched with chances for both teams coming early on in the game. The scoring was opened by Renaud Pangrazio after 18 minutes from open play as he drove the ball past James Fair in Great Britain’s goal. It looked like the lead would remain with Belgium during the break but on the stroke of half-time East Grinstead’s Mark Pearn broke through the defence and struck a perfectly weighted ball for Harry Martin to run on to. The Belgian keeper Julien Schoolans got to the ball but the strike had enough power on it to give Martin his first Great Britain goal.
A frustrating second half saw Great Britain pass up a number of chances that came their way. After scoring his first goal yesterday Mark Gleghorne was again lively in front of goal and was unlucky not to score on a couple of occasions.
Following their defeat yesterday it was clear that Belgium had a point to prove and a sustained period of pressure in the second half allowed them to capitalise on some defensive mistakes from Great Britain. Tom Boon, the only Belgian player on target yesterday, again stepped up to the mark; this time with two goals in less than ten minutes. The third Belgium goal, Boon’s second, on 60 minutes seemed enough to settle Belgium and they played some strong hockey breaking through Great Britain’s defence on several occasions.
Great Britain became a little fractious and impatient at times trying to force a goal from open play and being unable to capitalise on the chances they had. As the game entered the final stages Great Britain came back into the match, but it was too little too late. A penalty corner towards the end gave a glimmer of hope, but it wasn’t to be and the shot went wide.
Speaking afterwards, Head Coach Jason Lee said, “We have learnt a lot from these two games and although we did not win this afternoon there were some positives that came out of the game. I’m really pleased for Harry Martin scoring his first GB goal. We lacked the same level of technical skill we showed last night and that is disappointing, but I think we had an even number of chances in the game today we just didn’t take them as well as Belgium.”
Belgium will be in action at the FIH Champions Challenge I, which is set to be played from November 26 to December 4, 2011, in Johannesburg, South Africa. On Monday, the Great Britain team will depart for the Owen G Glenn FIH Champions Trophy, which takes place in Auckland. That event gets underway on Saturday 3 December.
Source material: Great Britain Hockey Media ReleaseBack