New Delhi: Riding on Maxime Plennevaux's double strike in the last 10 minutes of the match, Belgium posted a come-from-behind 2-2 draw against Pakistan to qualify for quarterfinals while Germany thrashed Egypt 6-0 to make the cut at the junior hockey World Cup in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Belgium, who got seven points by virtue of two victories and a draw from three games, emerged Pool A winners and will now take on France, the Pool B runners-up, in the quarterfinals on Thursday, while defending champions Germany will be up against Pool B toppers Australia.
In the first match of Pool A at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium on Tuesday, Niklas Bruns and Christopher Ruhr scored twice to enable Germany blanked Egypt with a tennis-like score to their Pool A engagement on a six points from three outings.
Germany's victory by a huge margin meant Pakistan needed to not just a win their last league encounter against Belgium but also required to win by 11 goals difference in order to make it to the quarterfinals.
So, even before the start of their match, it was as good as over for Pakistan.
Despite being virtually out of the quarterfinal contention, the Pakistanis started on a positive note. In fact, they played much better as compared to their previous two league matches and pushed Belgium on to the backfoot in the initial 15 minutes of the match.
Even though they took maximum control of the ball, Pakistan could not get past Belgian goalkeeper Arnaud Flamand and both teams started to neutralize each other in midfield. And it was a clean slate at the halfway mark.
In the second half, Pakistan took an early lead as Muhammad Dilber netted the ball through a field goal in the 41st minute.
Two minutes later, Pakistan had a chance to increase their lead after they earned a penalty corner but failed to convert it, courtesy a brilliant save by the Belgian goalkeeper.