FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior WC: Belgium off to winning start, thrash South Africa 5-1

Bhubaneswar: Last edition’s finalists Belgium were off to a flying start to the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup as they beat Group A opponents South Africa 5-1 at the Kalinga Stadium here on Wednesday.

Roman Duvekot opened the scoring for the Belgians in the seventh minute before Jacques van Tonder levelled the scoring eight minutes later.

Nelson Onana put Belgium ahead again in the 24th minute while Duvekot added his second in the 45th. Arno van Dessel and Rik van Cleynenbreugel added two quickfire goals in the 55th and 58th minutes respectively to take the game away from South Africa and hand Belgium a comfortable opening day win.

Defending champions India will kick-off their Group B campaign against France later today.

Speaking to media ahead of the encounter, India Men Chief Coach Graham Reid gave his thoughts on the match. “It’s always difficult with the first game where you do not have too much knowledge of the opposition. Both teams are in the same boat. So, it’s exciting as well,” he said.

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