Hockey World Cup 2018: Belgium vs Pakistan - 3 Standout Players from Crossover 3
- Belgium crushed Pakistan's hopes with a dominant 5-0 victory at the Kalinga Stadium.
#1 Simon Gougnard (Belgium)
Although he could not quite get his name on the score-sheet in this game, Simon Gougnard's reliability was arguably the most pivotal reason behind Belgium's domineering performance. Two of their three field goals happened due to the experienced midfielder's magical passing.
With head coach Shane McLeod using him in a more aggressive role, Gougnard responded brilliantly by piling incessant pressure on the Pakistani defence. In the 13th minute, he synchronized spectacularly alongside Nicolas de Kerpel and produced a decisive pass to the lurking Thomas Briels.
In particular, Gougnard's deft stick-work along the baseline left the Green Shirts in a perpetual state of frustration. One of those instances came during the 35th minute. He ran rings around the hapless defenders and unfurled a stellar cross to Sebastien Dockier who duly slotted the ball into the back of the net.
In a game where quite a few Belgian players also put forth their cases, Gougnard was deservedly rewarded with the Player of the Match award.