The Netherlands won the Rabobank Hockey World Cup here in The Hague this afternoon with a dominant display to see off Australia by two goals to nil.
First half strikes from Maartje Paumen and Kim Lammers, on her 200th and final international appearance were enough to give the hosts the win in front of a raucous home crowd. The Dutch, who have won every game in the competition, conceding just one goal along the way showed their class despite a strong effort from the Hockeyroos who just didn’t have enough on the day.
Paumen went close to opening the scoring with just four minutes on the clock but her penalty corner was well saved by Rachael Lynch. At the other end Emily Hurtz threatened, finding some space inside the D and slapping a shot at goal that Joyce Sombroek got a touch to but had to be bailed out by Jacky Schonaeker who cleared the danger.
The hosts had a lot of the early pressure but were unable to convert that into clear openings as the Australian defence held firm. Just as it had looked like they had weathered the storm, Roos Drost and Eva De Goede linked up brilliantly to cut through the defence, resulting in a foul in the D and a penalty stroke. Paumen stepped up and made no mistake, beating Lynch to her right to make it 1-0.
Six minutes before the break it was 2-0. Lammers got free inside the D and although Lynch made a superb save to deny her in the first instance she collected the rebound and fired it home. The goal was given despite Australia using the referral to try to get it overturned.
Australia forced a penalty corner in the opening exchanges of the second half but Sombroek made a fine save to keep out Jodie Kenny’s low drag flick.
At the other end, Lynch who was later named goalkeeper of the tournament, was showing the crowd why, making splendid saves from Drost and Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel in quick succession and then dashing from her line to block a shot from Lammers with her body. When the Dutch eventually beat Lynch in the second half, they found the woodwork instead as Ellen Hoog’s reverse stick shot crashed against the post and away to safety.
It mattered little and the hosts were able to run the clock down and celebrate their eighth world title.
Goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek told The Top of the D afterwards:
“It’s a great feeling. We had a great tournament and the team was very convincing and I’m happy we defended so well and kept so many clean sheets. It’s always nice as a goalkeeper not to concede goals but it’s a team performance and we did very well it’s great to hold the world cup in my hands right now.”
Tomorrow the Australians will be out for revenge as they go toe-to-toe with the Dutch in the men’s final.