China 1 vs. 7 Netherlands
6.00 push back
Anne Veenendaal starts in goal for the Netherlands this game, with the coach Alyson Annan seemingly rotating the keepers between the games. We start off in rather wet conditions, with the upper west stand being closed due to safety reasons, regarding a lightening storm. Yours truly is currently sat in the media area wearing a very fashionable bin bag as a water proof poncho. As we enter the early stages of the game we have a dramatic sound track of thunder, in the background.
The game has been moderately even so far, with China putting up a better defence than the South Koreans did in Holland’s first match, even getting into the Dutch half a couple of times themselves.
In the sixth minute, Lidewij Welten drives from the top of the ‘D’, to the right of the circle and delivers a cross come shot towards the left post and it fizzles wide. Shortly afterwards we see the first short corner of the game and it’s for Holland. Ireen van den Assem and Caia van Maasakker stand waiting in the two castles. It’s delivered van Maasakker on the right and it’s dragged flicked to the left. Goal! 1 – 0.
Eleven minutes have gone by and China have only had one circle entry and no shots so far. Holland defending well as a team, denying the Chinese the angles that they are looking for. Even the Dutch forwards are dropping back to help the team out and you can sense that they have the ability to break forward at pace, if they wanted to.
The ball is played into Kelly Jonker, who looks to get a shot off on goal, but is stick fouled in the process. Second short corner of the game. Back out to van Maasakker, but the first runner blocks her shot. With a minute to go a ball is played directly into the circle. Jonker moves inside from the right post and gets a deflection. It goes wide.
The Chinese perhaps should get a shot off, but are denied. They are made to curse their spurned chances. A move by the Netherlands fools the defence and the Jiao Ye making it 2 – 0, which remains the score at the end of the first fifteen.
At the start of the second period, the rain is coming down very heavy now, with the stadium announcer reminding us about the lightening warning. I should have brought a jacket. Lidewij Welten picks up the ball of the left, jinks around a couple of defenders and plays it off for San de Waard, but the shot can’t find it’s way home.
In the 4th minute of the second period, the umpire from Trinidad and Tobago, Ayanna McClean, calls a halt to the game, due to the rain, bringing the players into the changing rooms. The weather settles down, the players come back out for a little warm up. The Dutch are the first to come out, shortly followed by their opponents. We restart with a Chinese free hit from the edge of their circle.
Holland have come back out with their heads screwed on. Welten makes a good pass into the circle, it’s picked up by Marloes Keetels, who spins towards goal from the baseline and passes to Laurien Leurink, who slots home.
Within seconds of scoring, we see a short cover awarded to Holland. Van Maasakker drag flicks from the first castle, but it’s saved. The Dutch players are really turning it on now, getting shot, after shot, on goal. The Chinese have struggled after the return from the changing rooms. Holland are playing almost as well as the did against the Koreans, with a lot of their moves are going through Lidewij Welten. The number 12 for the Netherlands os playing through the centre, as a deeper forward, but dominating the right hand side.
There are two minutes of the half to go and China get a free hit in the Dutch half, but turn over the ball with an unforced error. They regain possesion, after Welten kicks the ball and this time test the Veenendaal with two shots on target, but Holland counter attack. In the Chinese defensive quarter Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel, plays the ball left to Leurink, who gives it to Welten in a sweeping move that culminates with Welten scoring an easy goal on the right of the post. It’s 4 – 0 to Holland at half time, who definitely handled the stoppage due to the rain much better than the Chinese.
After the restart, the Netherlands are lively with their 4, Kitty van Male, winning a free hit after a mazy run, and separately getting a shot on goal, with Keetles following suit. The Chinese are testing the Dutch a bit more than the Koreans did, but can’t get past the back line. In the seventh minute Dirkse van den Heuvel hits the baseline and drags back for Welten who sends it to the back post, but it comes off a Chinese foot and into the goal. China are now losing by five goal to nil and it’s the second goal of the game for the Holland’s number 12.
Within a minute of the fifth goal, another Chinese foot in the circle leads to another short corner. It’s been pretty much Holland this half, with two goals from three shots, after the third from the short goes wide.
Van Maasakker and van den Assem, the two dutch defenders are inside the Chinese half now. In the ninth minute, the Dutch win second short of the half. It’s inject to Van Maasakker at the first castle, it hits the keeper and after two more shots, a third set piece is awarded of the half. This time the Chinese force the ball away from the circle and win a sideline ball on their left. It’s worked up to the dutch baseline, with Xiaoxue Zhang crashing it in to the opponents circle, but her team mates can’t find the final touch. With a little over three minutes of the period remaining, China win their first short corner of their match so far. It’s the first real test o the match so far for the world’s number one hockey team and their alternate keeper Josine Koning, who’s started the second half, instead of her training partner. She kicks the ball to he right. China get ahold of it again, but send the shot wide of the post. 5 – 0 Holland after 45 minutes.
In the ninth minute of final period the Chinese perhaps should get a shot away but the Dutch defender picks her pocket. At this point the Chinese ask for a dutch foot in their circle, but there is no clear reason to change the original decision, according to the video umpire ,and the Chinese lose their referral.
Yang Peng plays a good ball to Qiong Wu, finds her team mate on the baseline, who cuts back up the pitch and plays a pass into the circle, but it’s straight to Van Maasakke . The Netherlands go straight up the other end and get a sixth goal, with a quick and flowing counter attack. Kitty van Male gets the final touch.
Soon afterwards, Jing Yong picks the ball up at the top of her opponents circle, she moves the ball to her left and unleashes a firm reverse stick shot high into the top left hand corner of the goal. It’s her team’s fourth shot on of the game and their first goal of the tournament. The score is now Holland 6 – 1 China
With a minute remaining, de Waard picks the ball up around the half way line, drives forward and tucks it to the right for Keetles, who quickly switches to Dirkse van den Heuvel, who carries the run forward. The keeper commits to Dirkse van den Heuvel, who plays a little lay off for the on rushing de Waard, who tucks it neatly into an open goal and that’s how the game finishes. It has been a dominant display from the world number one team.
Final score 7 – 1; The Player of the match award goes to Laurien Leurink.