Hockey Champions Trophy: GB miss final despite draw with Belgium

Great Britain hockey

Great Britain will face Olympic champions Germany in the bronze medal match

Great Britain’s men missed out on the Champions Trophy gold medal match despite battling back to a secure a thrilling 3-3 draw with Belgium.

The Belgians led 3-1 with only four minutes left, before David Ames scored his first international goal for GB.

Barry Middleton equalised with just over a minute on the clock, but despite further pressure a winner did not come.

Britain, who would have slipped to the fifth-sixth play-off with a defeat, will meet Germany for the bronze medal.

“It feels like a defeat,” Ames told BBC Sport.

“We wanted to win this and there are positives to take from how we fought back, but overall we’re disappointed we weren’t able to take chances earlier.”

After pool leaders Australia defeated India in the first game of the day, Britain knew a victory over Belgium would have put them into Friday’s gold medal match.

However, Bobby Crutchley’s side found themselves behind after only 35 seconds, with Thomas Briels sweeping home.

Captain Middleton equalised in the second period, but Loick Luypaert then struck just before the break.

After Luypaert scored again to put Belgium two ahead, Britain looked beaten, but the decision to withdraw keeper George Pinner for an extra outfield player paid off as they battled back to draw.

“We’ve had some amazing battles against Belgium and yet again we’ve had another incredible draw,” said Middleton.

“We don’t want to be in this position where we have to fight back, we want to be controlling it from the off, so we’ll learn from this.”

Britain will now face Olympic champions Germany for third place.

“It’s a game we want to win and we want to finish the competition with a medal,” said coach Crutchley.

World number one side Australia will face India for gold, whilst Belgium and Korea will meet in the fifth-sixth play-off.

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