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Rediff.com  » Sports » Champions Trophy: Belgium hold Australia in thrilling draw

Champions Trophy: Belgium hold Australia in thrilling draw

December 07, 2014 15:59 IST

Australia and Belgium players in action

Image: Australia and Belgium players in action at the Kailnga Stadium, in Bhubaneswar

Australia's disappointing show at the Hero Champions Trophy continued as Belgium made a remarkable comeback to eke out a 4-4 draw against the

Kookaburras in a high-scoring Pool A match at the Kailnga Stadium, in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.

Hero Hockey India League's highest ever paid player, Tom Boon, scored the all-important equaliser for the Red Lions from a penalty corner in the dying moments of the match.

After a feisty, physical first quarter ended scoreless, the second period was outstanding, consisting of five goals in quick succession.

Chris Ciriello was the first to register his name on the scoresheet when he converted a penalty corner for Australia in the 16th minute.

Three minutes later, Australia skipper Eddie Ockenden made it 2-0. He stole the ball in the Belgian circle and netted it with a backhand strike.

Jake Whetton tripled Australia's lead two minutes later by slotting in from close range after Belgian goalkeeper Jeremy Gucasoff half-stopped Matt Gohdes cross-shot.

Australia and Belgium players in action

Image: Australia and Belgium players in action at the Kailnga Stadium, in Bhubaneswar

But Belgium showed why they are regarded as one of the strongest hockey playing nations at present and pulled two goals back to narrow the margin before the halftime.

Sebastien Dockier scored the first Belgian goal from a field effort in the 25th minute before Simon Florent van Aubel tapped in his side's second goal after picking out a Gougnard pass.

But after the change of ends, Flynn Ogilvie scored his first international goal to extend Australia's lead by finishing off a fine move down the left flank.

Two minutes later, Belgium captain John-John Dohmen scored another field goal to keep his side in the hunt with a quarter of play still left.

In the last few minutes of the final quarter, Belgium pressed hard in search of the equaliser and in the process secured a few penalty corners, the last of which came with seconds remaining , courtesy a video referral.

And from the final setpiece, awarded with three seconds to go, Boon recovered a miscued drag-flick to smash home a dramatic equaliser.

The result leaves Belgium on four points after two games while Australia have just one.

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