Junior Black Sticks breeze past Red Cheetahs
The Netherlands secured their fourth win of the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup with a 9-1 over South Africa to set up a semi-final with India. South Africa suffered their first defeat in this tournament and will now face Spain in a 5-8 placement match. The last 9-16th classification game of the day was a one-sided affair in the first half that saw New Zealand get the better of Belgium with a 7-3 win despite a good second half from the Red Cheetahs.
The Netherlands v South Africa 9-1 (4-1)
The Netherlands secured their fourth win of the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup with a 9-1 over South Africa to set up a semi-final with India. South Africa suffered their first defeat in this tournament and will now face Spain in a 5-8 placement match. South Africa’s Toni Marks surprised with the opening goal of the match, but The Netherlands fought back with a double-strike from their penalty corner expert Lieke van Wijk and goals from Lisanne de Lange and Xan de Waard turning the score into 4-1 at halftime.
Like the previous match, this game was also played in four quarters of 17.5 minutes each because of excessive heat here in Mönchengladbach. The third and fourth quarter saw The Netherlands take control of the game with South Africa struggling to get out of their own half. Dutch top scorer van Wijk added two more penalty corner goals, lifting her tournament total to 12. Despite being up 6-1, the reigning world champions were not finished scoring as goals from Maria Verschoor, Samantha Saxton and de Lange secured a stunning 9-1 victory.
New Zealand v Belgium 7-3 (4-0)
Wrapping up a very hot day on Pitch 2 were the teams of New Zealand and Belgium, doing battle in the 9-16th place play-offs. The first half was clearly dominated by the girls from New Zealand, who controlled the ball and dictated play over long stretches of the match.
Two goals from Phillipa Symes and one a piece from Cass Reid and Brooke Neal took the Junior Black Sticks to a comfortable 4-0 halftime lead, and after the break, it looked like the story of the match would continue on the same page, as Brooke Neal's second and a goal from Michaela Curtis pushed the scoreline to 6-0.
However, Belgium seemingly suddenly awoke from the Sleeping Beauty state and had a good period in the second half when they scored three goals in a row through Julie de Paeuw, Axelle Wouters and Emma Puvrez, but it was too little, too late, and the Red Cheetahs could no longer seriously endanger the Black Sticks.
At the other end, Rose Keddell added one more goal for New Zealand in the dying minutes of the match, and with this 7-3 win, the Kiwis join the 9-12th place quartet and play China next. Belgium take on Ghana on Saturday in the 13-16th place bracket.
Voices after the match:
Chris Leslie, Coach New Zealand: "Look, there's always hard conditins, and it's going to be tough going for both teams. We always played very well in the first half of the game, we were very dominant. But Belgium payed very well in the second half with a lot of pressure. For the next match, we play China a lot, so we will haev a tough game against China. We have to play very well, we have to get the basics right, and ewant to win against them. We are disappointed not to be in the Top 8, but we're now focussed on finishing ninth in the tournament."
Shane McLeod, Coach Belgium: "I thought we had a nice second half of the match, nice goals, and we played with a lot of spirit. It was pretty hard, normally New Zealand is in the Top 8, to play against New Zealand was a great experience for my young team, for the girls. We have a really young group and it's a learning experience."Back