Hockey-Belgium beat Germany 3-1 for their 2nd win in men's tournament


Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Hockey - Men's Pool B - Germany v Belgium - Oi Hockey Stadium, Tokyo, Japan - July 26, 2021. Simon Gougnard of Belgium in action against Niklas Bosserhoff of Germany. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Belgium's men's hockey team secured a 3-1 victory over Germany in a scrappy match on Monday for their second win of the Tokyo Olympics, while the Netherlands defeated Ireland in the women's tournament.

The world champion Belgians took early control of the game, with forward Cedric Charlier netting the ball behind the German goalie twice in the first quarter.

"It's true that scoring here is a great feeling," said Charlier. "As long as we are working well offensively together, that's what matters the most for the team."

Emotions ran high on both sides in the second half, with Belgian defender Alexander Hendrickx adding to Germany's pain by scoring his fourth goal of the tournament through a penalty corner.

"They did four or five sliding tackles, which is a yellow card every time," said Belgian veteran midfielder John-John Dohmen, who has more than 400 caps.

"Even when they tackled us, they came to us to have a fight.

"We stayed really calm and I'm really proud of that."

By the end of the match, Germany had been given two yellow cards and a green one. Belgium had collected one yellow and two green cards. In field hockey, green cards result in two-minute suspensions for players and yellow cards bring five-minute suspensions.

The Germans could not penetrate their rivals' defence effectively enough to level the score after scoring a penalty corner in the fourth quarter.

Amid an overcast sky, the pitch was still sprayed with water during the half-time break to keep it fast and smooth.

Officials stuck to the usual two-minute quarterly breaks after extended breaks on Sunday to allow players to cool down in sweltering conditions.

In the women's tournament, gold medal favourites the Netherlands brushed aside Olympic debutants Ireland 4-0.

The goal scorers were rookie ace Felice Albers, who also scored twice in the opening match, Marlou Pheninckx, Laurien Leurink and veteran striker Frederique Matla.

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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