The Belgium Men’s National Hockey Team has advanced to the semifinals of the Hockey World Cup 2023 after ending New Zealand’s hopes of progressing with a dominant 5-2 victory.
The Belgian squad showed their class throughout the match, controlling possession and creating several chances. It was New Zealand’s first match at the tournament and they were a bit overwhelmed by Belgium’s attacking prowess.
Belgium opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Sebastien Dockier found the back of the net with a superb solo effort. Two minutes later, Thomas Briels doubled Belgium’s advantage with a powerful slap shot that flew past the New Zealand goalkeeper.
The second half saw Belgium further extend their lead, scoring three more goals. Dockier scored his second of the game in the 41st minute, before Arthur Van Doren and Simon Gougnard both found the back of the net.
New Zealand responded with two late goals from Hayden Phillips and Stephen Jenness, but it was too little, too late. Belgium held on for the 5-2 win and will now face defending champions India in the semifinals.
Belgium were the standout team in the group stage, finishing with two wins and a draw from their three matches. This win against New Zealand was the perfect way to cap off their group stage campaign and they will now look to continue their impressive form in the knockout stages.