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Men’s TriFinance EuroHockey Championships, Group A
Germany 1 (Mats Grambusch) Belgium 2 (Tom Boon)
Tom Boon’s penalty corner double gave Belgium a huge win as they beat the Olympic champions Germany in front of an exultant home crowd, hugely entertained in the final match of the first day in Boom.
They came from a goal down as Tom Boon’s sublime pair of corner goals in the 13th and 15th minute gave the capacity home crowd plenty of reason to celebrate.
Mats Grambusch got the crucial German touch to put them 1-0 up in just the sixth minute, guiding Benedikt Furk’s right wing cross goalward. It bamboozled Vincent Vanasch enough to see the ball bounce off his pads and into the goal.
Nicolas Jacobi put in a superb performance to keep it that way in the face of some delightful touches from Florent van Aubel and Cedric Charlier while Jerome Truyens miscued a golden chance just before half-time.
Germany, with Jacobi in superlative form, were more composed in the second half and soaked up more pressure with less danger in spite of Benjamin Wess’ yellow card.
Martin Haner dragged a first German corner effort over the crossbar while they pushed hard in the closing phases for a leveling goal found the Belgian defence impassable.
Spain 6 (Edi Tubau 3, Miquel Delas, Pau Quemada, Alex Casasayas) Czech Republic 1 (Tomas Prochazka)
Edi Tubau’s stylish hat trick saw Spain soar to an opening win in the first men’s game of the Tri-Finance EuroHockey Championship, seeing off Czech Republic 6-1.
Spain built a 3-1 lead by half-time after a top class start. Edi Tubau and Miquel Delas exchanged a series of neat, close range passes to walk the ball into the net for a fourth minute lead. Tubau added the next from the penalty spot before the Czechs bounced back with a Tomas Prochazka penalty corner after Stepan Bernatek’s tidy run down the right wing. It was Czech Republic’s first ever goal in the top tier of European championships hockey.
But Pau Quemada restored the two-goal advantage with a low corner that just snuck past Filip Neusser’s defences, making for a rough day for the goalkeeper in his 150th international game.
He made a couple of top saves in the second half, most notably a double block from Alex Casasayas, but he was powerless to stop Tubau adding another pair. His second of the day from a delightful Ramon Alegre move before David Alegre created the next one from the right. Casasayas extended the lead to 6-1 with a calm reverse-stick shot.
Standings: 1. Spain 3pts (+5) 2. Belgium 3pts (+1) 3. Germany 0pts (-1) 4. Czech Republic 0pts (-5)