A clinical display from the Rio silver medallist dashed any hope the South African national men’s hockey team had to qualify for the quarterfinals of the FIH Hockey World League Semi-finals.
Belgium won the last group match of the tournament by beating South Africa 9-1.
Belgium started the scoreboard action after only three minutes when Alexander Hendrickx scored from a penalty corner. The second goal came from field play when Nicolas De Keppel scored.
At halftime the game already turned into a nightmare for the South Africans with five more goals scored in the second chukka. Belgium was leading by 7-0 and still 30 minutes to play. Thomas Briels (2), Sebastien Dockier, Loick Luypaert and Cedric Charlier all got on the scorecard.
Mere minutes into the third chukka Dockier scored again. With just a minute left Belgium scored again to rub the salt in the South African wounds.
Like in all previous games South Africa had some solid build-ups, but never succeeded in scoring from these phases and presses. Plays in the circle from the South African strikers were disappointing.
Matt Guise-Brown finally broke the deadlock for the home team by scoring from a penalty corner. Finally after some 35 minutes the players and supporters had something to smile about.
Belgium won silver at the Rio Olympic Games last year and is currently 5th on the world rankings. South Africa is 15th.
South Africa will now play for 9th place in the tournament.
South Africa’s women team will play against Germany in the quarterfinal on Tuesday at 18:00.
All matches in the Hockey World League Semi-Final are played at the Wits Hockey Astro in Johannesburg. Twenty of the world’s best men and women’s national teams will take part in these Hockey World Cup 2018 qualifiers from 8 - 23 July.
Tickets for the event can be purchased online at http://hockeyworldleague.nutickets.co.za/HWL
All matches are broadcasted live on SuperSport. Be sure to follow the teams on Twitter at @SA_Hockey_Men and @sawomenshockey