China’s women wrapped up their FIH Hockey Pro League campaign in frustrating fashion, enjoying the upper hand in much of their final match against Argentina in Eindhoven, but still going down 2-1 to Los Leonas. Meanwhile, the Netherlands men were out for redemption when they once again came up against the Australian side that handed them their worst ever home defeat three days ago. And they achieved just that, emerging 5-2 winners after a high-octane match.
(Women’s) China vs Argentina 1-2
Most of the early chances belonged to China, but it was Argentina who struck the first blow in the second quarter.
A great run down more than half the pitch ended with Agustina Albertarrio firing it into the circle. The ball deflected off a Chinese defender towards goal where a diving Alina Piccardo just managed to get some stick on it before it crossed the line.
China found a deserved equaliser five minutes later. Gu Bingfeng and Dan Wen combined to get the ball to Zhong Jiaqi who dinked it across for Zhang Ying to lift it into the net.
In what felt like a repeat of the match between the same two sides three days ago, Los Leonas dealt the decisive blow in the dying minutes of the match.
With just two and a half minutes left on the clock, Argentina were awarded a penalty stroke when the ball hit a Chinese defender’s arm in front of goal. Valentina Costa made no mistake in finding the back of the net to secure her side the 2-1 victory.
The result means Argentina finished the mini-tournament in Eindhoven on top of the table with 29 points from their 14 games so far. China have now wrapped up their FIH Hockey Pro League campaign with 10 points. That leaves them in seventh place but in danger of relegation as the two teams below them, the USA and New Zealand, still have eight games each to play.
Agustina Albertarrio was named player of the match and said: “It was a tough match, really physical so we are really happy with the team and to win, for sure. Now we have to rest and we’re looking forward to playing against New Zealand. It’s going to be really hard.”
(Men’s) Netherlands vs Australia 5-2
Timo Boers opened the scoring for the Dutch with his first senior international goal – a clinical drag off his side’s first penalty corner of the match.
The lead lasted less than three minutes, however, with Nathan Ephraums picking up the ball on the edge of the circle. After mistraps from both sides, it popped back out for Ephraums to take the shot and secure the equaliser.
The Dutch were back on the attack not long after. Joep de Mol’s injection into the D hit defender Jeremy Hayward’s stick and shot up for Tjep Hoedemakers to volley it into the back of the net.
The home side struck again when a quickly taken ball by Koen Bijen was passed to an unmarked Duco Telgenkamp waiting in the circle to sweep it into goal for the 3-1 lead.
The Kookaburras were awarded a penalty corner with five minutes left in the half and Hayward’s drag caught a small deflection off the first Dutch runner’s stick on its way into goal.
Telgenkamp was once again at the centre of the action in the third quarter. He received the pass at the top of the D and drilled it in for his fifth goal in only his third international match.
Boers then completed his brace in the final quarter, dragging in another one from a well-taken penalty corner. While they had plenty of opportunities, the Aussies failed to score in the second half and the Dutch gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about by completing a 5-2 redemption victory.
Floris Middendorp was named player of the match and said: “This is a great feeling. I think we had to get revenge after 7-2, it is quite a lot so I think we did great today… We spoke about the same topics [as on Friday] but we had to execute them better and today we did so that’s good. I think we learned to get better every single game. We proved that also, improving every single game and making better steps.”
To see the current standings in the FIH Hockey Pro League, click here.
FIH Pro League – 12 June 2023
HC Oranje-Rood Stadium, Eindhoven (NED)
Result: Women’s Match 48
China 1-2 Argentina
Player of the Game: Agustina Albertarrio (ARG)
Umpires: Hannah Harrison (ENG), Sarah Wilson (SCO), Céline Martin-Schmets (BEL-video)
Result: Men’s Match 48
Netherlands 5-2 Australia
Player of the Game: Floris Middendorp (NED)
Umpires: Laurine Delforge (BEL), Ben Goentgen (GER), Sarah Wilson (SCO-video)