Belgium are the sixth team to win the World Cup

Here’s Praveen Sudevan report recounting how the events in the final unfolded. This is a watershed moment in Belgium’s history – READ

9:10 pm: Runners-up Netherlands make their way to the podium

Well, well. Manpreet Singh is in the house. India get the best goal celebration award.

Belgium’s Vincent Vanasch says: “I can stop them but I can can score them too. That is the strength of Belgium. The crowd has been amazing. Thanks for everything.”

The players flood around Gougnard. There are a few tears.

What a moment for Belgium. They are the sixth country to lift the World Cup. They came back from a dire situation in the shootout. Hertzberger wheeled away from Vanasch but his shot was over the goal. Take a bow, Gougnard who braved through the semi-final and the final after losing his father. The Red Lions didn’t lose a single game through the tournament and are deserved winners. As for Netherlands, they lose another final. It’s the fourth time they have lost the summit event, more than any other country.


NED 2-3 BEL (Van Aubel scores) Another referral is taken but this time the goal stands. The Dutch now lose their referral. No stick obstruction there.

It’s sudden death time. Netherlands are back from the dead

Netherlands survive. De Sloover puts the ball in the net and the Belgium players rush on the field. The referral is taken by Blaak and the replays shows that the ball clipped the attacker’s boot. Phew, what drama!

NED 2-2 BEL (Van Dam misses) Sloppy from Van Dam and Vanasch follows him and rolls it out of harm’s way

NED 2-2 BEL (wegnez scores) Superb stickwork from the Belgian youngster and Belgium are level

NED 2-1 BEL (Van Ass misses) Oh dear, that went well wide.

NED 2-1 BEL (Van Aubel scores) Belgium can breathe a little easy. Two dummies by Van Aubel and the ball is slotted home.

NED 2-0 BEL (De Geus scores) Pressure on Belgium now. After two dummies, the youngster slots it home.

NED 1-0 BEL (Denayer misses) More Blaak magic. The Dutch goalie went with the attacker, tackled him and pushed it outside the circle.

NED 1-0 BEL (Pruijser misses) Superb work from Vanasch, not venturing too far out from goal and pushing it outside the circle.

NED 1-0 BEL (Van Dorren misses) Blaak cut out all the Belgian’s angles expertly. Time ran out, eventually.

NED 1-0 BEL (Hertzberger scores) Simple dummy and finish by the experienced Hertzberger. That is his third successful penalty stroke in 24 hours

The shootout is underway. Hertzberger to start proceedings.

The final will be decided by penalty strokes, a first such occurrence.

1 minute left in Q4: Oohh! That was close. Belgium nearly clinched but Briels’s layoff was cleared off the line by Netherlands. Late drama here.

2 minutes left in Q4: Good attempt from Denayer deep inside the Dutch circle. The shot, though, went well wide.

Netherlands are down to 10 players

4 minutes left in Q4: Bob de Voogd goes on a blitzing run but his tomahawk fails to trouble Vanasch, who easily kicks it away. Another attack fizzles out.

8 minutes left in Q4: Once again, there is good intricate play at the edge of the circle. That, of course, is before the defence decides to have the final say in the matter.

11 minutes left in Q4: Possession, threat, foul, attack fizzles out – this has been the story of the quarter, and the game at large so far. We are into the last ten minutes of the game.

14 minutes left in Q4: Superb run through the heart of the Dutch defence from Van Ass. The final ball to Hertzberger, though, was just out of reach.

It’s 0-0 after 45 minutes of play

1 minute left in Q3: Oooh! Good attempt from Pruijser, who went on a surging run on the right and unleashed a tomhawk that caught the Dutch defence by surprise. The ball went well wide.

2 minutes left in Q3: More sterile attacks from Belgium as Boccard’ shot from the right goes wide of the target.

5 minutes left in Q3: It goes to the other end with Hertzberger and Pruijser building up an attacking threat on the left. It is cleared at the edge of the Belgian circle and Netherlands have to start again.

6 minutes left in Q3: De Sloover once again shows his defensive prowess with a timely intervention at the back. The Dutch were stitching a good attack through the right.

8 minutes left in Q3: Yet again, there is very little coherent play. That is because both defences continue to leave no quarter.

13 minutes left in Q3: Blaak is brought into action through a scrambled effort at the edge of the circle. It’s still goalless.

The crowd breaks into “Sachin, Sachin” as the batting legend makes his way onto the field.

Van der Weerden and his teammates make a mess of the PC and that will be the last bit of action in the game.

1 minute left in Q2: Netherlands get a PC after the Belgians are penalised for dangerous play. Belgians lose their referral.

2 minutes left in Q2: Hertzberger with the shot but the Belgians cleared their lines well. The shot was struck straight to the keeper.

Netherlands take a referral. And....they have a PC

6 minutes left in Q2: Charlier goes on a terrific run, covering almost 30 metres but is halted in his tracks at the edge of the Dutch circle. Still no sign of a goal.

11 minutes left in Q2: The previous move from the Belgians only elaborates what we were just saying. Atleast on three occasions, Belgians were thwarted in the Dutch circle, all in the space of seconds.

13 minutes left in Q2: The intent is there, the ideas are there too but the defences are giving nothing away so far. The Dutch, in particular have been exemplary at the back.

End of Q1, nothing to choose between the teams so far.

3 minutes left in Q1: Both teams cancelling each other out in attack so far. Similar strategies in attack might be the reason why. Netherlands and Belgium targeting the left flank through a quick change of pace.

6 minutes left in Q1: Ahh, Hertzberger for the Netherlands comes close but yet again, the shot is off target. The Dutch found space on the right following a series of crisp passes.

7 minutes left in Q1: Boon, yet again, has the Dutch defence in a bit of trouble with a thumping drive but his attempt was off target. The whistle was gone too.

10 minutes left in Q1: After both teams trading harmless blows in the first minute of the game, the tempo has gone down a notch with the neighbours finding their shape at the back and in midfield.

14 minutes left in Q1: What a start for Belgium, who stitch a terrific attack on the left started by Van Aubel. Tom Boon with a ferocious tomahawk almost finds the net but the ball fizzes wide of Blaak’s left and away from the post.

6:59 pm: Australian umpire Adam Kearns celebrates his 100th match. What an occasion to bring it up.

6:56 pm: The teams are out and the national anthems are set to get underway. The last time these two teams faced was in the Euro 2017 final, which Netherlands won.

6:50 pm: This is only the second time that two teams from the same continent are facing each other in the final. After India and Pakistan, this is the first time that neighbouring countries are clashing in the summit event.

6:47 pm: Belgium need to create history in more ways than one. They need to defeat Netherlands for the first time in a World Cup. The Red Lions have decided to start Alexander Hendrickx from the bench.

Head-to-head: Played: 22, Netherlands won: 14, Belgium won: 5
In World Cups: Played 3, Netherlands won all the games.


Belgium: Vanash (gk), Van Doren, Van Aubel, Boccard, Briels, Denayer, Gougnard, De Sloover, Luypaert, Wegnez, Boon

Netherlands: Blaak (gk), Hertzberger, Balk, Verga, Shuurman, Baart, Kemperman, Pruijser, Brinkman, Van der Weerden

6:37 pm: For those who missed the cricket action earlier in the day, Ashish Magotra writes on Virat Kohli’s greatness with bat is not a patch on Virat Kohli the captain – READ

6:33 pm: Belgium’s Simon Gougnard showed that he was a man made for the big occasion. He lost his father a day before the semi-finals against England. Belgium now want to win the World Cup for him – READ

6:30 pm: Structurally solid Belgium aim to overcome Dutch menace to clinch first title. For the uninitiated, here’s our preview for the final.

6:18 pm: For those who missed out on what just happened, here’s Praveen Sudevan with the match report. Australia were irresistible.

6:15 pm: Former India captain Sardar Singh reviews the World Cup final – READ

6:12 pm: For those who missed it, coach Harendra Singh was reprimanded by FIH for lashing out at the umpires – READ

Full-time: Australia 8-1 England
The hooter goes off. This is Australia’s 10th medal and a well deserved one. It was almost men versus boys for the most part. Quite incredibly, England shipped 14 goals in less than 24 hours.

Someone stop the game. Hayward gets on the scoresheet again. This time, he lifts the ball to the roof of the net with yet another terrific strike. England will be glad to know that there is less than a minute to go in the game.

1 minute left in Q4: Australia get another PC, the ball rattles the post. Govers with the attempt.

3 minutes left in Q4:
And....the onslaught continues and this time, it is off a cleverly taken drag-flick. The English thought it would be Govers who would step up but Australia fool the defence by passing it to
Hayward, whose shot down the line crashes into the bottom corner of the net.

Yet again, it’s drilled low and hard from Taylor and Charter is not troubled whatsoever. Easy at it comes and Australia clear their lines.

7 minutes left in Q4: England now have a successful referral to their name. England have a PC

11 minutes left in Q4: Successful referral for Australia: Back-stick as Roper tries to sweep the ball to the centre. The Aussies keep their referral.

1 minute left in Q3
Alas, some respite for England. Roper sets it up with a crisp diagonal pass from the right. Middleton at the far post controls it and lifts it over Charter. England have their consolation goal.

4 minutes left in Q3: Hayward slots the ball home but the whistle was blown for a foul. That was another example of the Australians walking through the English defence with ease.

8 minutes left in Q3: The day goes from bad to worse for England. Liam Ansell goes off the field limping with the help of the medical staff.

10 minutes left in Q3: England have a PC and yet again it goes hard and straight and Charter has little trouble parrying it away. Gleghorne the culprit this time.

12 minutes left in Q3
Goodness me, give us a break. England have been carved apart like they were paper. The ruthless Australians get their sixth and Tom Craig gets on the scoresheet. Yet again, the Aussies get a free run inside the shooting circle and Craig lifts it over Gibson’s right and into the net.

Schoolboy defending from England, easily conceding possession to Mitton at the half-way line. With a lovely faint, Brand takes out the English defence out of the equation and slots it home.

That’s the tenth goal England have conceded in two days. That’s the Australian forward’s first World Cup goal. Gibson saved Govers’s PC but could do very little from Mitton’s tomahawk.

13 minutes left in Q1: At the other end, Australia win a PC. Brand wins it for the Kangaroos

14 minutes left in Q1: Easy save for Charter. Taylor’s PC lacked power and precision.

Second half: Great start for England. They win a PC

Half-Time: Australia 3-0 England

Australia are cruising. England’s defence was cut open with far too much ease yet again. Only a miracle can save the English from yet another rout.

2 minutes left in Q2: Off the post! Injury? What injury? Govers’s clever deflection after he was found free in front of goal nearly put Australia 4-0 up. Govers even started celebrating after getting the final touch.

4 minutes left in Q2: England are trying hard to get back in the contest. Their attack has a little more verve going forward but the final touch is missing. Meanwhile, Blake Govers is limping and that’s not good news for the Australians.

Second quarter: GOAL! ENG 0-3 AUS

A lot more urgency from England to begin the second quarter. However, they get caught on the counter by Australia, who score another lovely team goal. Tom Craig is the goal-scorer for the second time today. Australia up 3-0 early in the second quarter.

End of first quarter: ENG 0-2 AUS

Liam Ansell has a great shot on goal towards the end of the first quarter but Australia’s second-choice goalkeeper Tyler Lovell produces a superb save to keep his team two goals up.

First quarter: ENG 0-2 AUS

Australia continue to press despite scoring two early goals. England’s defenders are under a lot of pressure and are struggling to cope. The semi-final defeat seems to have really galvanised the Aussies.

First quarter: GOAL! ENG 0-2 AUS

Australia double their lead in no time, and all thanks to some sloppy defending from England. Tom Craig is the goal-scorer this time and the Aussies are already cruising. There’s still five minutes left in the first quarter.

First quarter: GOAL! ENG 0-1 AUS

Blake Govers makes amends for missing his penalty with a superb field goal moments later. Australia are into the lead early.

First quarter: ENG 0-0 AUS

England enjoy the early possession but Australia earn a penalty corner in the seventh minute. However, Blake Govers shoots well over the bar.

4.30 pm: We’re off in Bhubaneswar. Australia get the match underway...

4.23 pm: Could you believe that Australia actually lost in the semifinal last night? They will be in action first up against England.

4.18 pm: A special guest expected in Bhubaneswar today.

Hello all and welcome to The Field’s live blog of the last two matches at the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018.

After weeks of action, the final two matches are here in Bhubaneswar. First, it’s Australia v England and that it is followed by Netherlands v Belgium, the title-decider.

Stay tuned for live updates from both the matches as the curtain comes down in Bhubaneswar.

Final preview: Netherlands v Belgium promises to be a cracker. Read here.