Hockey World Cup 2018: Belgium beat Netherlands in shootout to win maiden title

Belgium players celebrate their victory (Photo tweeted by @TheHockeyIndia)

Belgium became the world champions for the first time when they edged past Netherlands in an high-octane final of the Hockey World Cup 2018 on Sunday.

Belgium won a tense penalty shootout 3-2 against three-time champions Netherlands in the title showdown at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

It was a great day for Belgium hockey as the country registered its second biggest international title after the Olympics silver in Rio in 2016.

In the last edition of the World Cup at The Hague in Netherlands, Belgium had finished fifth.

The Netherlands, on the other hand, failed to match Pakistan’s record of a fourth world title for the second consecutive edition. The Dutch had finished runners-up to Australia four years ago in front of their home crowd. They last won a World Cup title way back in 1998 in Utrecht.

Incidentally, it was the Netherlands’ second consecutive match that went to shootout in the tournament after their victory over Australia in the semi-finals on Saturday.