The Netherlands and New Zealand are the first teams to qualify for the quarter-finals at the Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires. Both are on six points after two matches while Egypt can get a maximum of three points in their remaining pool A match against Korea.
Day 3 saw the Dutchmen taking over the lead in the pool thanks to a convincing 6-2 win against Korea. Japan’s Samurais gained their first points in Buenos Aires following a solid 2-0 over Egypt. On Sunday, Korea play Egypt with New Zealand facing the Netherlands.
Match 9: Korea v Netherlands 2-6 (0-2)
The Netherlands defeated Korea 6-2 in their second pool Amatch to highlight their ambition to win the Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires. Goals from Rogier Hofman, Mink van der Weerden, Jeroen Hertzberger, Billy Bakker, Bob de Voogd and Robbert Kemperman were enough to seal the victory although Korea pulled two penalty corner goals back through Lee Namyong and Nam Hyunwoo in the last quarter.
Korea focused on defence from the beginning. The Dutch were forced to play with patience, but managed to win two penalty corners in the first half which they converted. RogierHofman (15’) tipped the ball into goal after Korea’s goalkeeper Kim Jaehyeon has parried Mink van der Weerden’sdragflick. However, the Dutch star flicker got his name on the score sheet on 22 minutes to double the lead.
The third quarter saw the Netherlands add another goal when Jeroen Hertzberger (31’) stole the ball near to the half way line and started a solo run before laying the ball off for Billy Bakker. Bakker passed it back to Hertzberger who scored.
Bakker (45’) extended the lead to 4-0 before the quarter whistle when deflecting a backhand stroke from Hofman. Like their first match against Japan, Korea played their best hockey in the last quarter with Lee Namyong (50’) and Nam Hyunwoo (50’) converting two penalty corners within the same minute. However, the Olympic Silver medallists struck through last-minute goals from Bob de Voogd (60’) and Robbert Kemperman to make the final result 6-2.
Thoughts on the match
Billy Bakker (NED)
“We are very happy with today’s match. We scored six goals against Korea, four against Egypt, ten goals in two matches are good. We don’t look at the results of single quarters, it is the overall result which matters and this is satisfying.”
Nam Hyunwoo (KOR)
“The Netherlands are a much stronger opponent than Japan. The communication within our defense was not good today, next time we need to be better prepared. Tomorrow we want to win our match against Egypt.”
Match 10: Japan v Egypt 2-0 (0-0)
Genki Mitani and Koji Kayukawa secured Japan a solid 2-0 win over Egypt at the Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires. The Samurais are now in a good position to reach the quarter-finals. Egypt suffered their third defeat and now, they need to win their last pool match against Korea to keep their chances open for a spot in the knockout matches.
Both teams were still waiting for their first points after losing their first two pool matches in this tournament. Japan and Egypt met in a tough contest knowing that the winners are likely to qualify for the quarter-finals.
Japan were the better side throughout the first half, creating enough chances to be leading at halftime. Despite having more scoring opportunities, the Samurais were not able to capitalize.
Japan, the world’s number 16, fought hard to take the lead and eventually scored thanks to Genki Mitani (6’). Kenta Tanaka ran the ball into the circle pushing it to Mitani who slotted home from close range. The second goal arrived when Koji Kayukawa (47’) scored with a well-worked penalty corner routine.
Thoughts on the match
Kenta Tanaka (JPN)
“We are happy with today’s performance because we knew that we would have to win this match. Today was our best match in this tournament so far but we should have scored more goals. This is something we need to work on.”