Belgium, France qualify for Hockey World League semifinals

MOENCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY - AUGUST 24:  Tom Boon (R) of Belgium celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Men´s EuroHockey Championships 2011 Pool A match between Belgium and Spain at Warsteiner HockeyPark on August 24, 2011 in Moenchengladbach, Germany.  (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images)

File Photo: Tom Boon of Belgium. (Getty Images)

Top contenders Belgium lived up to their billing by qualifying for the Hockey World League semifinals after thumping Poland 10-1 in the third FIH HWL Round 2 tournament at the Stade George-Lefèvre in Saint-Germain, near Paris.

The Red Panthers rode on four goals from Jerome Dekeyser and three from Tom Boon to consign the Poland their fourth defeat.

Jerome Dekeyser gave Belgium the lead and he soon added another before going on to complete his hat-trick in the first twenty minutes of play as the Redshirts took a cosy 5-0 at half-time.

Tom Boon emerged as the top goal scorer of the tournament with 15 goals. Belgium remained the unbeaten team of the competition, finishing with five wins. Portugal, on the other hand, in stark contrast lost all their five matches to return with the wooden spoon.

France fulfilled the expectations of the home crowd by joining Belgium in the semifinals after sneaking past Canada 3-2 in an exciting tussle.

In an inconsequential league, Scotland posted their first win, walloping Portugal 9-0, consigning them to their five successive defeat.

Earlier in the fourth round of matches, Belgium maintained its winning spree sailing past Canada 5-2. France edged out Scotland 2-1 while Portugal racked up its first win, trouncing Portugal 9-0.

In Round three matches, Belgium overcame France 3-2 while Scotland pipped Poland 4-3 in penalty shootout in a dramatic match after both teams were locked 3-3 in regulation time. Canada put it across Poland 4-1.

In the second round matches, Belgium made mincemeat of Scotland 7-1, France crushed Portugal 6-0, Canada sailed past Poland 3-1.

Belgium had a big 19-0 win over Portugal in their first match. France had to break a lot of sweat before overcoming Poland 4-2, while Canada sneaked past Scotland 5-3 in their first round matches.

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.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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