Netherlands 12 vs. 1 Italy
1.00pm push back
Today Carlien Dirkse van den Huevel is making her 200th appearance for her country. Holland rotate their keepers again. Josine Koning starts this match. The Italian reserve keeper, at 16, is the youngest player at this world cup. Both teams are on six points and are already through. Everybody expects the Dutch to win this for first place in Pool A..
Six minutes have gone by and nothing has really happened yet. The Netherlands are playing at a slower pace than before. I think out of boredom the Italian fans start chanting ‘Italia! Italia!’ and the Dutch join in with a chorus for their team.
In the ninth minute, Holland shuttle the ball towards the left post but it goes wide. 30 seconds later they hit the target. A first time pass from the left hand baseline for Frederique Matla to tap in at the back post. 1 – 0.
The Dutch are starting to run with a bit more pace now, but with exactly five minutes to go, Italy win the first short corner of the game. Maria Socino sends it towards goal, there’s a tap just infant of the keeper and Federica Carta just taps it wide of the post. The Italians haven’t turned up to be beaten here, they are given it a go.
Kitty van Male of Holland has been looking the most dangerous upfront for them, trying to get behind the lines often and regularly. With two minutes remaining of the quarter, another Dutch shot gives a great noise against the Italian keepers left deflector pad and the save gets a round of applause from the East Stand. Soon afterwards Holland get a short corner. It’s their first of the match. The ball is sent to the first castle and dragged flicked into the back of the net. Caia van Maasakeer is the scorer. At the end of the first period the number one ranked team in the world lead by two goals to nil.
At the start of the second period the Dutch are shown a green card and Italy take advantage of the extra player by winning a short corner. Maria Socino looks to play it to the left post but holland 21 cuts out the return pass to the injector. Italy get another short corner in quick succession. This time the ball is sent to the second castle and captain Chiara Tiddi slaps it right into the bottom left corner, making the score 2 – 1 .
The Italians are truly one of the swashbuckling teams in this competition. They are really trying to get into Holland. They can’t match their opponents for technical ability, but what they lack in skill they make up for in attitude and spirit.
In the seventh minute a Dutch attack down the right sees a pass made from the baseline and a jabbed shot from Kelly Jonker goes through the legs Martina Chirico, at her near post. Holland extend their lead back to two goals.
Ivanna Pessina gets a green card. Ten minutes played and the dutch sting another shot towards the Italian goal and there is a stick foul in the second phase, meaning that the dutch get a short corner. This time van Maasakeer’s drag flick goes wide of the post. In the eleventh minute Socino is green carded for a foul in the circle and the team in orange gets another short corner. It’s deflected into the keepers right hand side by Margot van Geffen and Italy are really up against it now. Holland are awarded a free hit in their own area, which the Italians feel should have gone the other way. Efficiently, the Dutch don’t need to be asked twice and attack their opponents circle. Kitty van Male with the tap in at the back post and now it’s 5 – 1.
With a minute left, the Dutch find an Italian foot in the circle and win yet another short corner. They are really attacking the baselines in this match, winning this short from the right side. The shot is stopped on the line and the umpire gives a penalty stroke for use of the foot. It’s referred to the video umpire. The ball was not deemed to be going towards the goal and therefore a penalty corner is awarded instead. Another corner in quick succession for another foot. The Italians are playing calcio. This time the strike goes wide of the post. At half time the score is 5 – 1. Anne Veenendaal comes out to warm up. It looks like she’s going to have the second half, in keeping with the rotation policy of previous games.
Within 20 seconds of the restart holland get a short corner. The rebound falls to Carlien Dirkse van den Huevel who flicks it over the keeper, who’s still on the floor after the initial shot, and into the back to the net. She’s scored on her double centenary.
In the third minute Dalila Mirabella is shown a yellow card. Italy will be hard up against it now and within seconds Holland get the second short corner of the half. The first runner is out to it and the ball squirts the Dutch right wing. They work it back into the circle, but it goes off the pitch. The Italians are still searching for their second goal, trying to do better against their opponents defence than either the Koreans, or the Chinese did, but they are perhaps leaving themselves vulnerable to the counter attack.
On eight minute Laurien Leurink takes a knock and stays down as the match is stopped. She looks distraught as she comes off. Shortly after the restart the Italian keeper is brought into action again, batting away another fierce strike from the Dutch. Shortly afterwards there’s another short corner. It’s played to the far left of the circle to Eva de Goede. This variation fools the runners and the lady in orange is alone in space and smacks it at Chirico. The injector, Kitty van Male pounces on the rebound and scores into the top corner. 7 – 1.
With two minutes left, Holland are surprised that they haven’t ben rewarded a short corner. The umpire plays on, but they decide to make a referral. The video umpire has a quick decision for us, saying that it did in fact hit a foot in the circle. The first runner blocks the first phase, the keeper saves the second shot, but the third one goes in; Matla makes it eight. 32 seconds remaining before the final break and the Dutch get a ninth and a second for the captain. Score as we enter the fourth quarter is The Netherlands 9 – 1 Italy.
Three minutes after the restart Kitty can Male passes to Lauren Stam, who shoots and hits the keeper, the ball bounces up and Kitty van Male, who carries on her run, and takes the ball first time, to lob Chirico. 10 – 1 and we now have equaled the biggest win in World Cup history; West Gemant 10 – 1 Nigeria, in 1978
In the sixth minute Italy win their first short corner in ages. It’s saved by the Veenendaal and Holland regain possession. They go straight up the other end with de Waard hitting the left baseline and passing to Jonker who scores at the second attempt. 11 – 1 and now it’s a record breaker. In the final seconds the Dutch strike again, passing the ball through the defence. Kitty van Male makes it 12. It’s a resounding victory for Holland and a message to everybody else. They want the cup.
Final Score is Holland 12 – 1 Italy.