Shootout heartbreak for England U18 Boys

England U18 Boys celebrate, July 2016

England Under-18 Boys 2 (1)
Belgium Under-18 Boys 2 (1)

Belgium win 2-1 on penalty shootout

England Under-18 Boys just missed out on bronze after a dramatic penalty shootout saw Belgium beat them in the EuroHockey Youth Championships in Ireland on Saturday.

The two sides looked evenly matched for much of the game, but England struggled to convert enough of the many chances they created.

Head Coach Jody Paul said: “Over this cycle the development of the players in the last nine months has been very good, and to see the way they’ve competed head on with some of the best teams out there is pleasing.

“I was pleased with the way they played today, the final outcome could’ve been very different if we had put away a few more of the chances we created.”

It was end to end stuff in the first half, with Euan Gilmour putting England ahead from a tenth minute penalty corner before Cyril Freyling rifled home for Belgium from a 15th minute penalty corner.

Five minutes after the break Belgium took the lead for the first time as a mix-up between England’s full backs let in Boris Gougnard to fire home in style.

England’s Lucas Ward hit back to level on 62 minutes from a penalty corner, and they created several other chances on goal.

But it ended level, and in the shootout only Oliver Rogerson could score for England as they lost 2-1 in the shootout.