Gantoise star Ballenghien fires in four

Gantoise’s Ambre Ballenghien produced a masterclass for Belgium as her four goals helped the Red Panthers ran up a huge 10-1 win over Korea in the Olympic qualifiers in Valencia.

It helped them move top of Pool A ahead of Ireland on goal difference after two games after the European pair shared a 0-0 draw on Saturday evening.

Ballenghien struck twice in the first quarter to put Belgium in a strong position against the Koreans and they never looked back. Further goals from Louise Versavel and Stephanie Vanden Borre made it 4-0 with 17 minutes gone.

Ballenghien completed her hat trick in the second half and then netted the 10th with a rising first-time shot with a couple of seconds remaining.

She is joined in the panel by fellow Gantoise players Alix Gerniers, Barbara Nelen, Hélène Brasseur and Michelle Struijk who will all be looking forward to the EHL FINAL8 around Easter time.

They have pole position in the group, needing a draw or better against already eliminated Ukraine to assure they advance.

For Ireland, they ran up an 8-0 success against Ukraine with Loreto’s Sarah Torrans – another in line for EHL action this year – scoring twice with close range deflections. Her club mate Hannah McLoughlin also slapped in a penalty corner.

Their equation on Wednesday is they need a draw or better against Korea.

In Pool A, Spain are the only side with two wins to their name having beaten Great Britain 1-0 on Sunday; they play second placed Canada next.

GB face Malaysia to try and stake a claim for a semi-final. From those semis, three teams will earn tickets to Paris 2024.

In Ranchi, Germany – with Mannheimer HC’s Pauline Heinz in the mix – are in top spot in Pool A on goal difference ahead of Japan. They will advance to the semis with a win over the Czech Republic.