Pinoké gun helps power Belgium into semi-finals

Pinoké’s Alexander Hendrickx was among the goals as his drag-flick helped Belgium become the first men’s side to go through to the semi-finals from the Olympic qualifiers in Valencia.

He made it 2-0 against Ireland in the 25th minute of their 4-2 success, adding to a 7-0 victory over Japan on Sunday.

Those results mean they are assured of a top two spot and need a win from one of their matches in the final four phase to earn their ticket to the Olympic Games this summer.

He was joined in the line-up by fellow Pinoké man Florent van Aubel as well as Royal Léopold’s Gauthier Boccard and Tom Boon who are all destined for the EHL at Easter time.

For Ireland, the result still means they sit in second place in the group and they need a draw or better against Japan on Wednesday to advance to the last four from this section.

In their line-up are Gantoise players Jaime Carr, Luke Madeley and Sean Murray, SV Kampong’s David Harte and Old Georgians Kyle Marshall who also have the EHL on their agenda.

The other men’s qualifier also began today in Oman with Germany racing out of the blocks with a 9-0 demolition of Canada. Rot-Weiss Köln’s returning star Christopher Rühr scored twice with his club mate Tom Grambusch getting another.

Great Britain, meanwhile, were hugely impressive in a 6-1 win over Pakistan with Old Georgians Sam Ward scoring twice.

They are in action again on Tuesday against Malaysia in Pool A while Germany are up against New Zealand in Pool B.