Pak crash out of World Cup after emphatic 5-0 defeat by Belgium

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BHUBANESWAR: Pakistan’s miserable campaign at the men’s hockey World Cup finally came to an end after Olympic silver medallists Belgium thrashed the four-time champions 5-0 in the third cross-over match at the Kalinga Stadium here yesterday.

Staring the match as favourites, the Red Lions toyed with the Pakistani defence which somehow managed to hold on in the opening 10 minutes.

But once Alexander Hendricks (10th minute) converted a penalty corner, the Pakistani defence broke apart and gates opened up for Belgium. Besides, Hendricks, skipper Thomsa Briels (13th), Cedric Charlier (27th), Sebastian Dockier (35th) and Tom Boon (53rd) were the other goal getters for Belgium.

While Pakistan will pack their bags and return home, Belgium will take Germany in the quarterfinals on Thursday. The Red Lions, ranked third in the world, came into the match as outright favourites against the world no. 13 Pakistan and they played like champions, dominating the proceedings for major part of the 60 minutes. Belgium’s first scoring chance came from the very first move in the form of a penalty corner but the Pakistani defence did enough to thwart the danger. Belgium kept up the pressure on the fragile Pakistani defence and secured back-to-back penalty corners in the 10th minute, the second of which was converted by Hendricks with a powerful low flick to the left corner of the goal. —Agencies

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