The Netherlands overcame a tough Australian challenge to win the Hockey World Cup 3-1 in Madrid overnight...
The Netherlands overcame a tough Australian challenge to win the Hockey World Cup 3-1 in Madrid overnight.
The world number one was too strong for Australia in a match that lacked a lot of the drama and excitement that usually accompanies a major tournament final, but still produced a worthy winner as the Dutch completed an unbeaten campaign in style.
Hoisting the World Cup makes amends for a pair of consecutive final defeats for the Netherlands after they were edged in 1998 and 2002 for top spot on the medal dais.
The first half of the decider was played at an even tempo but failed to interest the crowd (who were unusually quite), saved for a video umpire decision nearing half time with the Netherlands having a goal to Sylvia Karres denied after review.
After the half time break, the Netherlands pressed the Australian defence which caused multiple turnovers, before that possession was finally transferred to the scoreboard with Maartje Paumen guiding a drag flick low into the left corner.
The goal energised the Dutch and they had a period of complete dominance before Australia turned the tide with a length of the field attack that resulted in a penalty stroke which Rebecca Sanders converted.
After earlier having a goal disallowed by the video umpire, there was little doubt about Karres’ effort 15 minutes from full time however when she controlled a loose ball and fired a reverse stick through the legs of the Australian goalkeeper.
With the match entering its final five minutes, the Netherlands received a penalty stroke of their own to increase their margin to two goals and ensure they would win their first World Cup since 1990.
Earlier, Argentina claimed the bronze medal with a five-goal thrashing of Spain that said as much about the temperament of the home team as it did the desire of the South Americans.
- Player of the Tournament: Nuria Camon (Spain)
- Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Amy Tran (USA)
- Young Player of the Tournament: Carla Rebecchi (Argentina)
- Fair Play Trophy: South Africa
- Highest Goal Scorer: Sylvia Karres (Netherlands)
12 South Africa
International Hockey Federation