Bhubaneswar: Belgium Hockey Team created history by beating its first ever International Hockey Federation (FIH) title at Kalinga Stadium here in Bhubaneswar.
In the final of the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup today, Belgium after playing a goalless draw against runners-up of the last edition, Netherlands, scored a thrilling win in the sudden death of penalty shootout.
Incidentally, Netherlands has figured in all three World Cup finals decided by tie-breaker or penalty shoot outs. It won the first against India on its home soil at Amstelveen in 1973 while it lost the second to Pakistan in Sydney in 1998. It lost the third today to Belgium.
For Belgium the win in the sudden death in penalty shootout was historic as it has never won any tournament conducted by the International Hockey Federation. Last year in the World Hockey league final, it was defeated in the gold medal match. In 2016 summer Olympic Games, Belgium was beaten by Argentina in the gold medal match. Twice in European championship Belgium lost the gold medal games.