Vitality England Women’s Hockey Team’s hopes to play in the EuroHockey Championship 2023 Final were dashed by the formidable Netherlands as they suffered a 0-7 loss in the semi-final on Thursday in Mönchengladbach.
Drag-flicker Yibbi Jansen (33′, 42′, 58′) starred with a hat-trick, while Frédérique Matla (45′, 59′) bagged a brace. Pien Dicke (35′) and Marijn Veen (47′) scored a goal each for the Dutch.
It was a quiet start to the match as both teams approached the semi-final cautiously. The Netherlands dominated the ball possession and created a couple of goalscoring opportunities, but in form goalie Sabbie Heesh stood tall to avert the danger. England also made occasional inroads, but couldn’t create clear-cut opportunities, ending the opening quarter in a 0-0 statement.
The second quarter also saw a similar story, with the Dutch enjoying the ball possession, making inroads inside the English circle. They earned their first penalty corner of the match in the 26th minute, but England’s defence denied the Dutch from breaking the deadlock. England, on the other hand, made a few circle entries but couldn’t cause much danger as the Dutch kept them at bay, ending the first half at 0-0.
The Dutch earned their second penalty corner of the match in the very first minute of the match, but England’s first rushers nullified the attack. They again earned back-to-back penalty corners, with the second one being converted by Jansen, whose fiery drag-flick helped the Dutch break the deadlock in the 33rd minute.
The relentless Dutch went on to double the lead through Dicke’s sneaky field goal in the 35th minute. England fought back and immediately earned their first penalty corner of the match but missed out on converting it.
The Netherlands continued to trouble England’s defence as they added the third goal to their tally in the 42nd minute. It was Jansen who was on target, leaving no chance for Heesh to make the save. They again caught the English defenders off guard and scored their fourth goal through Matla from an open play in the 45th minute to end the third quarter with a massive 4-0 lead.
The Olympic Champions started the final quarter aggressively and scored their fifth goal of the match through Veen in the 47th minute from open play. England pushed very hard for a goal, making attacking forays, but the Dutch went on to score two more late goals.
While Jansen scored her third goal through a penalty corner, Matla scored her second in the 58th and 59th minutes respectively to register a dominant 7-0 win.
England’s hunt for a medal, however, will continue when they play in the bronze medal play-off match on Saturday, 26th August, against the losing team from the second Semi-Final between the hosts Germany and Belgium.