|August 4th, 2012|
|20||Pool A||10:45am||NED - KOR||3 - 2 (2 - 1)||Final|
Netherlands v. Korea 3-2 (half-time:2-1)
The Netherlands became the first hockey team to book a ticket in the semi-finals after earning a 3-2 win against Korea. With four wins in as many outings, the Dutch are a top the standings with 12 points, enough to guarantee them a top-four finish.
It was a barn burner early on as Korea and the Dutch treated the fans to an offensive-themed game. Korea’s Cheon Seul Ki blasted a rocket of a shot into the upper corner of the net on a penalty corner chance to poen the scoring. But moments later the Dutch replied with two rapid fire goals. Lidewij Welten tipped in the 1-1 marker and Nami van As followed up moments later to give the Dutch the lead midway through the half.
The Dutch wasted no time getting down to business in the second half, scoring on their initial trip down the field. Carlein Dirkse vsn den Heuvel gave her team some breathing room and set the tone for the second half, essentially dashing the Korean’s hopes for an upset with her strike.
Cheon Seul Ki scored her second goal of the game to pull Korea to within one and put the Dutch on their ties for the finale. But after battling penalty problems for much of the second half, the Koreans didn’t have the gas to get the equalizer as the Netherlands hung on for another three points.
Germany, which plays later today is a virtual lock to join the Dutch in the semi-finals. The two European teams have dominated Group A, which was far more straight forward in its results. The Netherlands now has the luxury of having its semi-final place secure with four days to prepare. Korea will now focus on getting into the fifth-place match, which is easily within reach.