Dutch reign supreme

Hockey World League Final

Dutch reign supreme

Jonker scores treble as Oranje crush New Zealand

In a manner befitting their stature, Olympic silver-medallists The Netherlands handed a crushing 7-2 defeat to New Zealand and won the inaugural Hero Hockey World League Final in a lop-sided final at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here on Saturday.  

New Zealand, ranked seventh, were always the underdogs against a side in form and four rungs above them. But the manner of their collapse would surely hurt them.

Constantijn Jonker (17th, 35th, 61st) scored a treble, Billy Bakker (23rd, 59th) struck a brace while Bob de Voogd (36th) and Rogier Hofman (45th) scored apiece for the Dutch. For New Zealand both the goals were scored by Steve Edwards (37th, 52nd)

Both the sides made a cautious start before the Dutch broke the shackles. The Black Sticks struggled to stem the flow of through the midfield and by the interval the Dutch were place comfortably at 3-0.

Jonker tapped in the opening goal for the Netherlands following a goalmouth melee and Bakker made it 2-0 within six minutes with a well-timed deflection. Soon all the action was predominantly taking place in the New Zealand half with the Dutch attacking with ruthlessness and flair. 

For Black Sticks, Simon Child crafted some good openings but none could materialise. To further add to their misery, the Dutch swelled their tally to three when Jonker scored for the second time at stroke of halftime.

If New Zealand were hoping to return stronger in the second half, the Dutch were in no mood for indulgence. De Voogd scored the fourth goal for his side in the opening minute and Netherlands were clearly on top.

Edwards ensured the Black Sticks joined the fight with a brilliant solo effort a minute. But thereafter, it was the Netherlands all the way. New Zealand tried hard but theDutch always held the edge with their superior skills and tactics. 

The two back-to-back penalty corners for New Zealand were well defended and even though Edwards scored for the second time, the Black Sticks never looked in the match.

 The Dutch went on to add three more to their tally and for long wore the smiles of those who knew the victory was in their grasp. 

Result (final): Netherlands: 7 (Constantijn Jonker 17th, 35th, 61st, Billy Bakker 23rd, 59th, Bob de Voogd 36th, Rogier Hofman 45th) bt New Zealand: 2 (Steve Edwards  37th, 52nd).

Individual awards: Player of the tournament: Robbert Kemperman (The Netherlands).

Best Junior player: Mandeep Singh (India).

Best goalkeeper: George Pinner (England).

Top scorer: Keiran Govers (Australia). 

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