|March 9th, 2010|
|29||Pool A||6:30pm||NED - KOR||1 - 2 (1 - 1)||Final|
With everybody busy trying to figure out what the various possibilities of results in this game would produce in the standings, The Netherlands offered a beginning of answer by scoring within 30 seconds of play by Ronald BROUWER, brilliantly set-up by Teun DE NOOIJER. Korea reacted with their traditional quick passes and speedy runs, but they could not shake or penetrate the steady Dutch defense.
The game turned into a tactical opposition played mainly in midfield, with little direct dangers for the two goalkeepers. The Netherlands got close on another acceleration by Teun DE NOOIJER and a quick exchange of passes with Valentin VERGA, but the move was stopped by a defender before a shot on goal. Korea then forced a penalty-corner on one of their rare incursions in the Dutch circle in the 31st minute and Hyun Woo NAM dutifully converted it, his forth of the competition.
Half-time was reached on a tied score (1-1) with a lot of work for Korea, needing to win by at least two goal to overcome The Netherlands and force the door of the semi-finals. Eun Seong HONG had a golden chance to score early in second period after a vast Korean attack that ended on a 4-on-3 and left him alone at the top of the circle, but he completely mishandled his shot. Jong Ho SEO was more realistic a few minutes later at the conclusion of a similar move, managing to push the ball in goal despite lying on the ground behind the Dutch keeper.
With the door to qualification partly opened, the Koreans pushed forward furiously and Hyo Sik YOU nearly surprised Guus VOGELS with an instant reverse shot. They missed a penalty-corner chance and The Netherlands progressively took back the control of play. Geert-Jan DERIKX missed a completely open net after a monumental run by Teun DE NOOIJER and everything was still possible with 5 minutes to go. The two coaches were pacing nervously on the side line, shouting defensive or offensive orders, and the two teams put everything on the line in the final minutes, but the score did not evolve… until the final second when a penalty-corner was whistled for The Netherlands.
The situation was clear: if they scored, they would top pool A and play England (second of pool B) in semi-final, otherwise they would play Australia (first of pool B). Taeke TAEKEMA slotted his flick wide and the semi-finals were decided.
Match Facts (Netherlands v. Korea):
> The Dutch have now reached the WC semi-finals for the 8th time, and for the first time since 2002, when they lost 4-1 to Australia in the semi-finals.
> The Dutch finish second in Pool A to take on Australia in the semi-finals, whereas Germany play England.
> Germany are the only teams still unbeaten after the Pool matches.
> Ronald Brouwer ‘s (NED) opening goal after 25 seconds is the fastest goal scored at Delhi 2010.
> Mark Pearson (CAN 33 seconds vs. NZL) and Phillip Burrows (NZL 39 seconds vs. NED) also scored in the first minute this tournament.
> However, all three teams that scored a first minute goal at Delhi 2010 ended up losing the match.
> Nam Hyun-Woo (KOR) scored his 4th PC goal this tournament. Only Taeke Taekema (NED) and Luke Doerner (AUS) have scored more PC goals at Delhi 2010.
> Korea will take on Spain in the Final 5-6. This is the first time they play in a fifth place play-off.
> In the last two World Cups (2002 and 2006) Korea came fourth.
> In 1994 and 1998 Korea reached the Final 7-8, losing on penalty strokes to Argentina in 1994 and beating Canada in 1998.