The Netherlands bounced back from Sunday’s defeat to Australia by beating Argentina 5-2 at Lemnos Field in the fourth game of the Kookaburras Cup being held in Perth, Western Australia.
A brace of goals to Jeroen Hertzberger and Valentin Verga ensured the Dutch backed up last week’s 7-4 win over Argentina at the same venue. And it was almost a repeat of those proceedings as Argentina fought back from being three goals down to reduce the deficit to one with ten minutes remaining.
But the Netherlands again replied with two late goals to run out convincing winners.
The fixture was a tight contest through the first half with just a single Jeroen Hertzberger goal separating the teams at the break. The Dutch doubled their advantage soon after the break and by the time they had scored their third goal on 48 minutes, the game looked to be over as a contest.
But penalty corner specialist Pedro Ibarra and then Lucas Cammareri gave Argentina a glimmer of hope before Verga’s second goal was soon followed by a Mink van der Weerden conversion to restore the three goal buffer.
In the curtain-raiser, the Kookaburras kept their unbeaten streak in tact after they drew 2-2 with strong Australia A side that included several players who turned out for the Kookaburras last week.
Chris Ciriello gave the Kookaburras the lead with a well taken penalty corner on nine minutes and was unlucky not to double his tally after he hit the post with a second penalty corner soon after with Australia A goalkeeper, Tristan Clemons, well beaten.
With the Kookaburras only converting one of three penalty corners in the first half, it was left to Simon Orchard to score in open play seven minutes after the break extending the Kookaburras’ advantage.
However, Australia A hit back almost immediately with Trent Mitton firing in his first goal of the tournament. Then with quarter of an hour remaining, Mitton doubled his tally to tie up the game.
And with spots up for grabs at the London 2012 Olympics, both teams pushed hard to impress Coach Ric Charlesworth and grab the elusive winner but scores remained level.
The Kookaburras and Netherlands meet again in front of a sold out crowd at Lemnos Field on Thursday night with Australia A and Argentina opening proceedings at 3.45pm.
Source: Hockey Australia Press Release
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