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Dutch men defend European title in dramatic comeback against Belgium

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Dutch men effectively defended their European hockey crown on house soil on Sunday, turning in an exhilarating comeback against an in-form Belgian aspect who had crushed them Five-Zero six days previous.

The Dutch workforce claimed their 5th European gold in a Four-2 victory in spite of discovering themselves Zero-2 down at halftime at Amsterdam’s Wagener stadium the place the rustic won its first European gold in 1983.

Dragflicker Mink van der Weerden made the variation for the house aspect through effectively dispatching one regimen and having every other hit the crossbar prior to striker Mirco Pruyser edged the ball over the function line for 2-2.

Robbert Kemperman slotted house a skilfully managed aerial move and Pruyser gave the impression at the scoresheet a 2d time in the final seconds of the sport when Belgium had got rid of their goalkeeper to check out to achieve an on-field participant benefit.

For Dutch trainer Max Caldas, a former Argentine world, the European medal used to be a boon after the workforce completed empty-handed finally 12 months’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro following a semi-final loss to Belgium and due to this fact misplaced out on a bronze medal against Germany.

“The better team won today… We knew this was possible,” he advised Dutch broadcaster NOS, combating again tears of pleasure.

The Dutch victory mirrors Saturday’s outcome at the ladies’s aspect the place the sector’s primary workforce simply noticed off first-time finalists Belgium in a Three-Zero victory.

For Belgium, a European silver medal equals their best-ever outcome from 2013 on house soil when the workforce misplaced to Germany.

The medal provides to Belgium’s rising good fortune below the management of former New Zealand world Shane McLeod who coached the workforce to a marvel Olympic silver medal a 12 months in the past.

Belgian veteran participant Tom Boon opened the scoring in the primary quarter from a penalty nook drag flick, quickly adopted through a tip-in function from striker Cedric Charlier.

The Belgians had began the event strongly, together with placing 5 objectives previous the shocked Dutch hosts on Monday prior to they overcame Germany in a penalty shoot-out in Friday’s semi-final.

(Reporting through Karolin Schaps; Editing through Clare Fallon)

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