Netherlands 1 (3) vs. 1 (1) Australia
Match 33/Semi Final
4.30 Push Back
The Dutch are favourites, who play in their charcoal grey kit, but it could be tight. The Australians are in their yellow and green kits. Anne Veenendaal starts in goal for Holland, for the second time running. Jodie Kenny plays, despite having dislocated her shoulder in the previous round’s penalty shuffles.
A minute and a half into the game, Rosie Malone spins her defender, sending the ball into the circle. Her team mate runs on to it and wins a short corner. Jodie Kenny thwacks it from the first castle, there’s a deflection onto the goal post and the ball hits a Dutch foot. A second short corner is blocked by the first runner, the rebound falls to Georgina Morgan, who finds a foot for a third straight set piece. Kenny drag flicks the ball and it’s blocked.
In the fourth minute Caia van Maasakker undercuts the ball and takes Emily Hurtz right in the jaw. She’s tough though, shaking it off to stay on the pitch. Shortly afterwards the Netherlands find a Aussie foot in their circle and win their first short corner of the game. van Maasakker forces a right kicker save from goalkeeper Rachael Lynch.
The Australians are looking more controlled in this game then they have in previous turn outs. Normally they seem intent on thrashing the ball forward, running at their opposition defenders. Today they seem to want to pass it about a bit, looking for space and moving off the ball, especially in midfield. At the end of the first period the score is 0 – 0
Holland have been coming forward with a bit more regularity in this second quarter. Frederique Matla has a chance on four minutes, but drags it wide. In the fifth minute Holland get a short corner for having to ride a stick foul. Caia van Maasakker unleashes a good drag flick at Lynch, who saves it, but concedes another short corner for a high ball from her pad. The second attempt if worked to Xan de Waard, who has her attempt stopped and the Aussies go forward, but without finding a circle entry. On six minutes, an attack down the right to the baseline sees a cut back for Kelly Jonker to go for. She finds the goal and Holland take the lead; 1 – 0.
In the ninth minute a pass across the top of the Australian circle finds Lidewij Welten, who unleashes a firm shot that tests the Aussie keeper. Rachael Lynch is the best player for Australia right now. With a little under six minutes remaining Holland get another short corner. The shot is clocked by the defensive runners and rolls off for a long corner. Australia defend well, without actually getting out of their half. The Netherlands almost score at the end of the first half, with Malou Pheninckx making a mazy run into the circle but her shot os well saved by Lynch. With five seconds left on the clock, the Hockeyroos win a short corner. This is their chance to go into the break level. Their whole team have come forward. But the shot is blown for being too high. At the break it’s 1 – 0 to Holland .
Thirty-five seconds into the second half Rachael Lynch saves at her near post from Lidewij Welten. In the fifth minute Renee Taylor dives in for a tackle and seems to hurt her left shoulder quite badly. She walks off the pitch in tears. A free hit for the Dutch in the Aussie half sees Malou Pheninckx through on goal. Rachael Lynch is putting in a superb display in goal and stops her from finding a good angle and the ball goes over the bar. Ten minutes into the quarter, Ireen van den Assem takes a peach in the thigh and elects to come off the pitch.
As the period moves on Australia edge further forward. With three minutes remaining they win a short corner. Jodie Kenny’s shot is deflected for a long corner. A minute left andHolland’s Marloes Keetles plays to Lidewij Welten, who drives into the circle, but her shot is blocked by the Aussie defender. At the end of the third quarter, the Netherlands still lead by one. Australia can get back into this if they try.
Five minutes into the final quarter and Kitty van Male picks up the ball and drives forward. She is now the ball carrier in a three versus two on the Australian defence forcing the opponent to concede a short corner. It’s a drag flick which Rachael Lynch puts over the bar. Three minutes later the Dutch kick the ball in their own circle giving Australia a short corner; and it’s sent into the goal. The shot is straight down to the keeper’s right, with Georgina Morgan scoring, from the top of the circle. The scores are now level with one a piece. Lidewij Welten looks to win it at the end, but Jodie Kenny does enough to put her off and the game goes to penalty shuffles.
Holland go first and Frederique Matla scores. Kristina Bates will want to equalise for Australia, which she does on her revers stick. The Dutch captain Carlien Dirks van den Huevel is to take her sides second, but she sees her effort saved by Rachael Lynch. Brooke Peris can take the lead here. Saved by the Dutch keeper Josine Koning who came on at half time for Veenendaal.
Margot van Geffen takes the ball to her left and shoots, which is saved and then Lynch wins the second phase. Kaitlin Nobbs for the Aussies. She looks to spin the keeper but is shut out. One from three for both teams. Xan de Waard spins Lynch, who loses her balance and the attacker scores. Holland take the lead. Karri McMahon now steps up, but sends the ball wide. Lidewij Welten has a chance to win it. She puts the through the keepers legs. Holland make their way to the final, where the Irish wait for them. Australia will play Spain for bronze.