The first match up for pool A at the 2013 Hero Hockey Junior World Cup pitted the defending champions, Germany, against the 2012 European Junior champions, Belgium. First half, offensive action favoured Germany despite a 1-0 tilt for Belgium entering the break.
Belgium keeper Arnaud Flamand made three key saves in the opening frame after a wave of Germany attacks, starting with a near-side save on striker Jonas Gomoll, who redirected a paced pass from team mate Niklas Bruns. In the 26th minute Flamand denied a point-blank shot from Jan Nitschke to keep the game scoreless.
Against the flow, a high press from Belgium forced a turnover deep in Germany’s end. The resulting shot by Maxime Capelle ricocheted past Germany keeper Mark Appel to lift Belgium up 1-0 in the 30th minute. Germany had a chance to equalize in the final minute of the half but Bruns’ close-range deflection went just wide of the open net.
In the second half Germany dominated midfield play, pacing Belgium from sideline to sideline but were unable to find fortune in the circle. Belgium’s speed and tenacity frustrated Germany and they were finally rewarded. Cappelle tallied his second of the match after a quick run down the right side of the pitch. His resulting sweep pass across the circle hit a Germany defender and trickled across the goal line to lift Belgium by two.
Germany’s Christopher Ruhr finally broke Flamand’s chance of a shutout finishing on a broken penalty corner in the 62nd minute to cut Belgium’s lead to one. Germany pushed up to try and make a late comeback but Alexandre van Linthoudt dealt a silencer in the 70th minute to give Belgium the 3-1 final score and their first three points in their 2013 Hero Hockey Junior World Cup campaign.