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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

NZ, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany win

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BHUBANESWAR, India: The second day of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 continued to thrill packed crowds in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela as New Zealand, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany earned comfortable victories, as Pools B and C got underway.


New Zealand took on Chile in the first contest of the day in Rourkela. Early nerves from the Chilean defence allowed the Kiwis to grab the initiative and get 3 first half goals, but Chile were resurgent in the second half and grabbed their first ever goal in the FIH Men’s World Cup with a beautiful counter-attacking move to earn a well-deserved consolation goal.


It was the turn of the European giants next as each one of Netherlands, Belgium and Germany faced stiff opposition from Malaysia, Korea and Japan respectively, but stepped up their game in the second halves to register comfortable wins by big margins by full times. Netherlands secured a 4-0 win against Malaysia in the second game in Rourkela.


It was then Pool B action in Bhubaneswar where Belgium scored 5 second half goals to win 5-0 against Korea, before Germany repeated the same pattern, scoring 3 goals in the second half against Japan to run away 3-0 winners.


New Zealand PREVAIL


Playing in their first ever World Cup game, the Chilean backline played tentatively and paid the price in the first half as Sam Lane and Sam Hiha (twice) capitalised on individual errors to put New Zealand up 3-0 inside 20 minutes.


Ignacio Contardo weaved into the circle, beating three Kiwi defenders, before taking the ball past the keeper and finishing on the reverse to give Chile their first ever goal in the Men’s World Cup. Chile keeper Adrian Henriquez was particularly terrific for them, pulling multiple saves to keep New Zealand out in the entire second half.


Sam Ward, who opened the scoring, was awarded player of the match and said: “Chile are a tough team to play against. We knew it would be a good game, so it is good to get the first win. Looking forward to the next game here.”


In other matches, Netherlands showed their class to beat a valiant Malaysia 4-0 while Belgium smashed Korea 5-0.


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