Comfortable win for the Netherlands as GB struggle in front of goal

FIH Pro League – Women

Netherlands 3 Great Britain 0

The Netherlands went top of the FIH Pro League table after a comfortable 3-0 win over Great Britain in a very wet Amsterdam on Thursday.

The Netherlands made two changes to the squad which had won a shootout 3-1 after a 1-1 draw in normal time forty-eight hours earlier. Malou Pheninckx and Frédérique Matla came in for Sanne Koolen and Ilse Kappelle.

Great Britain made one change, Holly Hunt replacing Sarah Evans who limped off during Tuesday’s first meeting.

Once again Great Britain fell behind in the second minute having conceded a penalty corner after just 57 seconds and a penalty stroke twelve seconds later after the Dutch captain, Eva De Goede’s shot was illegally blocked by her opposite number, Laura Unsworth on its way to goal. To add to the visitors’ woes their video referral challenging the stroke award was rejected and Caia van Maasaaker made no mistake from the spot, slotting the stroke to Great Britain goalkeeper, Sabbie Heesh’s right.

AMSTELVEEN FIH Pro League Netherlands v Great Britain Picture: Netherlands scored 3-0. WORLDSPORTPICS COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK

Having gone ahead twenty seconds faster than in the first game, once again the Netherlands failed to follow up their early lead, Ireen van den Assem failing to convert from two further penalty corners in the first quarter.

Lily Owsley was Great Britain’s main attacking threat, whilst Sarah Robertson and Anna Toman came closest nearer the Dutch goal.

Grace Balsdon sent a shot high and wide as Great Britain quickly forced a penalty corner early in the second quarter, but the Dutch immediately responded with Lidewij Welten firing narrowly past the left post following an attack from Lauren Stam.

Welten, De Goede and Pheninckx combined brilliantly in an excellent passing move before Pheninckx over-ran the ball at the British backline.

The Dutch doubled their lead in the 26th minute, Matla’s drag-flick sent to Heesh’s right at mid height to give Great Britain a slightly higher mountain to climb. However, the Dutch penalty corner routine was not without its setbacks, as a minute before the interval, Great Britain mounted a counter attack which ended with Sarah Jones having her shot deflected and rebounding off the Dutch crossbar while Anne Veenendaal could only watch before Margot Van Geffen cleared the danger.

AMSTELVEEN FIH Pro League Netherlands v Great Britain Picture: Margot Van Geffen WORLDSPORTPICS COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK

In added on time at the end of the first half, Great Britain thought they had reduced the deficit after Tess Howard finished off a penalty corner routine, but the Dutch immediately video referred and the goal was chalked off due to obstruction.

In the third quarter, Great Britain forced a succession of penalty corners but couldn’t make the vital breakthrough before inadvertently setting up a Dutch counter attack after the last injection was mistrapped. Pheninckx and Welten forced further saves from Heesh but the Netherlands carried their two goal advantage into the final quarter.

The third Dutch goal came from yet another penalty corner in the 46th minute, van Maasakker having her initial shot saved by Heesh before the ball was manoeuvred towards an unmarked De Goede at the left post.

Izzy Petter came close to scoring a consolation goal in the 48th minute, but shot past the right post.

Great Britain will now head to Brussels where they will face Belgium twice at the weekend. Both games on 31 October and 1 November will start at 1 pm GMT. The Dutch will follow on 4 November.

AMSTELVEEN FIH Pro League Netherlands v Great Britain Picture: Laura Unsworth and Kyra Fortuin WORLDSPORTPICS COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK


Scorers: Caia van Maasakker 2-PS, Frédérique Matla 26-PC, Eva De Goede 46-PC

Starters: Anne Veenendaal (GK); Malou Pheninckx, Laurien Leurink, Xan De Waard, Caia van Maasakker, Ginella Zerbo, Ireen van den Assem, Laura Nunnink, Lauren Stam, Eva De Goede (Capt,), Kyra Fortuin.

Subs: Frédérique Matla (3 mins), Maria Verschoor (3), Pien Sanders (4), Pien Dicke (5), Lidewij Welten (5), Margot van Geffen (6), Josine Koning (GK) (32).

Cards: None

Great Britain:

Starters: Laura Unsworth (Capt.), Anna Toman, Susannah Townsend, Sarah Robertson, Ellie Rayer, Tess Howard, Lizzie Neal, Sabbie Heesh (GK), Lily Owsley, Grace Balsdon, Fiona Crackles.

Subs: Jo Hunter (6 mins), Izzy Petter (6), Sarah Jones (7), Amy Costello (7), Sophie Hamilton (8), Holly Hunt (49).

Sub not used: Miriam Pritchard (GK).

Cards: None

Umpires: Céline Martin-Schmets (BEL) and Coen van Bunge (NED)

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