One of the most improved sides in world hockey, Belgium men kickstarted their campaign in the third FIH Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 tournament on a blistering note, clobbering 50th ranked Portugal 19-0 at the Stade George-Lefèvre in Saint-Germain, near Paris.
The 9th ranked Belgium team, which took the hockey world by surprise when they took the fifth spot in the 2012 London Olympics, started the goal spree in the 3rd minute when Tom Boon, with an experience of 107 internationals under his belt, slotting home a penalty corner.
The nippy striker doubled the advantage a few minutes later when he deflected home from close range.
Jerome Dekeyser converted a penalty-corner to make the scoreline 3-0 inside the first ten minutes.
Tom Boon added two more while four of his team-mates also got their names on the scoresheet as Belgium went into half-time 9-0.
The Red Panthers under new Dutch coach Marc Lammers, applied sustained pressure on Portugal in the second half.
Tom Boon rattled the opposition cage thrice while Jerome Dekeyser added two more to his tally as the Redshirts strolled to a 19-0 victory.
In the second match of the day, 14th ranked Canada put it across 23rd ranked Scotland 5-2.
Matt Guest gave Canada the lead in the 3rd minute and soon doubled the lead through Keegan Pereira.
Scotland reduced the deficit through a penalty-corner strike by Niall Stott.
Canada soon forced a penalty-corner, which resulted in a penalty-stroke – Scott Tupper made it 3-1.
Both teams leaked an own goal as Canada led 4-2 at the break.
Niall Stott reduced the margin for Scotland when he converted a penalty-stroke.
The Scottish joy was short-lived as Mark Pearson soon made it 5-3 for Canada which remained the final scoreline.
Hosts and 17th ranked France swamped 19th ranked Poland 4-2.
Piotr Kozlowski struck first for Poland much to the disappointment of the home fans. But they restored parity through Gaspard Baumgarten.
Matthieu Durchon gave France the lead close to half-time.
Hugo Genestet made it 3-1 in the 47th minute, before Poland scored through Karol Majchrzak.
Martin Genestet settled the issue with the fourth goal for France as they walked away 4-2 winners.
Earlier, in the first FIH Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 tournament held in New Delhi, hosts and 9th ranked India and 15th ranked Ireland made it to the Hockey World League (HWL) semifinals slated to be held in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and Johor Bahru (Malaysia) later this year.
10th ranked Argentina and 12th ranked South Africa qualified from the second FIH Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 tournament held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
The fourth and final FIH Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 tournament would be held at Elektrostal (Russia) from May 27 to June 2.