Goal in Last Minute Gives Belgium FIH Pro League Win Over USWNT

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April 10, 2019, 2:21 p.m. (ET)

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BRUSSELS, Belgium – April 10, 2019 – It has been two weeks since the U.S. Women’s National Team and Belgium faced each other in Lancaster, Pa. in the FIH Pro League. Halfway around the world, the two squads met again in Brussels as Belgium looked to ride the momentum from their first home victory just three days prior against China. Shaping out to a similar match as the one in the United States, the teams were tied 1-1 in the final moments of regulation. With another shootout on the horizon, Belgium converted with 59 seconds remaining to give the Red Panthers a 2-1 win in front of a stunned but ecstatic home crowd.

USA’s defensive line was tested early on with the first shot on goal by Belgium’s Jill Boon. The Red Panthers’ captain made a sweeping attempt in the opening moments, but USA goalkeeper Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas) was quick to make a kick save. Still controlling the tempo of the first frame, Belgium continued to mount pressure earning the game’s first circle entry in the 8th minute. Ambre Ballenghien had an open backhand shot but missed on the attempt as the ball rolled out of bounds. Going back the other way, USA set up two offensive opportunities late in the quarter, including a chance by Taylor West (Princess Anne, Md.) but could not connect on the deflection. Both teams made a final push before the quarter ended, but the score remained deadlocked 0-0.

After exchanging circle entries to begin the second frame, USA settled down on offense working around the perimeter but could not find an opening. Belgium responded with two more pentrations, but were halted by USA’s defense. The red, white and blue then countered upfield. A free hit just outside the circle was taken by Amanda Magadan (Randolph, N.J.) but was stopped by the Red Panthers' defense. In the 21st minute, Belgium entered the circle but Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.) was able to gain control and clear the possession. Moments later, Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.) was able to get into the circle and tried an upright reverse shot but it went into a Belgium defender. In the 27th minute, Emilie Sinia was given a green card but USA was unable to take advantage, despite a circle entry by Mackenzie Allessie (Mount Joy, Pa.) off a pass from Hoffman. With time running short, Belgium made one last surge. After moving into the circle, Hoffman was able to get her stick on the ball but could not clear. Belgium then took a shot on net and Bing was quick to make a diving stick save to end the half.

Danielle Grega (Kingston, Pa.) opened the second half with a pass into the circle that hit the leg of a Belgium defender, giving the first penalty corner of the match to USA. On the attempt, Julia Young's (Yorktown, Va.) sweep but was saved over the end line by Belgium goalkeeper Aisling D’Hooghe. A defensive battle ensued in the following minutes before Belgium’s Anne-Sophie Weyns scored her first goal of the FIH Pro League by being passed the ball near the stroke mark to give the host nation a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute. On the restart, USA charged into the circle but the play ended on a hard foul by Anna Dessoye (Mountaintop, Pa.). Back with possession, Belgium pressed into the USA circle as Young stopped the chance dead in its tracks. However, still in control Belgium earned their first penalty corner of the game, that Bing was able to make the save and clear. Moments later, USA earned their second corner and from the top Kathleen Sharkey's (Moosic, Pa.) shot was stopped in front of D’Hooghe and Gonzales was there to finish, tying the game in the 44th minute. With seconds remaining in the quarter, USA was given another penalty corner but the Red Panthers asked for a video referral. The play was determined to have hit the back of Magadan’s stick prior to the call, nullifying the penalty corner and ending the third quarter.

Belgium opened the fourth with a penalty corner of their own and the hard shot by Stephanie Vanden Boore hit a USA foot, giving another penalty corner to the hosts. Vanden Boore took the shot again but it was blocked by flyer West. The rebound attempt came out to Barbara Nelen but rolled just wide of the goal. Seconds later, Nelen earned another penaly corner for Belgium as the ball hit a USA foot. It was West once again that blocked Vanden Boore’s shot and the umpires whistled another penalty corner. As a result USA asked for a video referral, which determined the ball hit above West’s knee, giving a free hit to USA. After a quick possession exchange, Grega intercepted a pass at midfield and charged downfield in a one-on-one, but could not capitalize. In the 51st minute, Magadan worked the ball down the near sideline, setting up Allessie for a pass into the circle but D’Hooghe broke up the play. During the clear attempt, Alyssa Manley (Lititz, Pa.) was issued a green card. USA was able to kill the disadvantage, but in the 54th minute Belgium nearly took the lead off a cross by Louise Versavel. Initially looking for Emilie Sinia who missed the deflection chance, the ball went through Bing’s legs and hit the far goalpost. USA went down a player once again when Ali Froede (Burke, Va.) was given a green card for a hard tackle. Able to hold off the disadvantage again, a free hit by Hoffman worked its way into the circle but no USA player was there to finish. The Red Panthers countered on the same play setting up a fast break opportunity before being awarded a penalty corner. The play was mis-trapped, but Belgium got a shot away that hit the outside of the goal. With signs of another shootout looming in the air, Hoffman was issued a yellow card with 59 seconds remaining, and on the ensuing play Alix Gerniers hit a backhand into the circle that was deflected in by Versavel and through the legs of a leaping Bing to give the Red Panthers the 2-1 advantage, and ultimately the match.

Following the game, Belgium's Nelen was named Player of the Match.

The U.S. Women’s National Team will travel to Rotterdam, The Netherlands for their eighth FIH Pro League game against the FIH World Ranked No. 1 team on Sunday, April 14 at 10:00 a.m ET. Don't miss a second of the action by watching on Bleacher Report Live. #FIHProLeague