Germany’s women ensured their return to FIH Hockey Pro League action was a successful one, defeating Great Britain 1-0 in London. And while the Spanish men enjoyed the upper hand at the start of their match, it was the Dutch who eventually prevailed 3-2. Over in Antwerp, Tomas Domene scored four of Argentina’s goals in a dominant 6-1 victory over the Black Sticks. Australia then denied the home side, beating the Belgian women 2-0.
(Women’s) Great Britain vs Germany 0-2
England enjoyed the majority of the first-quarter chances, but they couldn’t capitalise on the opportunities created and the match remained goalless by the half-time break.
The Germans thought they’d made the breakthrough when a fantastic finish from Charlotte Stapenhorst saw her lifting the ball into goal. But a video review showed it had hit her own nose on the way down to her stick when she received the ball and so the goal was disallowed.
The deadlock was finally broken when Jette Fleschütz ran the ball downfield and centred it for Benedetta Wenzel to fire it in for her second international goal.
The Germans scored a second with just over four minutes remaining in the match. GB keeper Amy Tennant managed to save an initial shot in open play but Pauline Heinz then popped the rebound into the top right corner of the net. Germany then hit the post off a penalty corner shot in the final minute, but the missed chance made little difference to the outcome as they’d done enough to secure the 2-0 win.
Selin Oruz was named player of the match and said: “We are quite happy that we won because we wanted to win this game. It was a nice atmosphere to play hockey again so I’m really proud of the girls because they did so well. It was a tough match, working really hard, defending hard, and in the end, we are really happy to have the three points now.”
(Men’s) Netherlands vs Spain 3-2
Spain struck first off a penalty corner. The initial shot didn’t get past the first Dutch runner, and the second attempt hit the post. The third was saved by the keeper, but the ball was eventually worked back to Xavier Gisbert who fired the fourth attempt into the back of the net.
After a slow start, the Netherlands finally made their breakthrough off a penalty corner in the third quarter. Boris Burkhardt’s initial shot was saved, but Steijn van Heijningen was perfectly placed to slot in the rebound for the equaliser.
With less than 10 seconds left in the third quarter, Jasper Brinkman received an aerial ball into the circle, passed it to Koen Bijen who then worked it towards goal, getting a fortuitous deflection off a Spanish defender to give his side the lead. Bijen scored a second when he deflected Brinkman’s powerful pin-point pass to take his side 3-1 up.
With just 20 seconds left in the match, a post-penalty corner scramble saw Alvaro Iglesias volleying the ball in to mark his 200th match in Spanish colours. But the day ultimately belonged to the Dutch, after a 3-2 victory.
Steijn van Heijningen was named player of the match and said: “I feel great after this one. I think we had a bit of trouble starting out with the game, 1-0 down. So our goal was very important. It wasn’t the nicest goal, but it got us back in the game and I’m really happy about it.”
(Men’s) Argentina vs New Zealand 6-1
New Zealand struck after just a minute, earning a penalty corner and Kane Russell dragging it in for the early lead.
Los Leones responded less than five minutes later with a penalty corner goal of their own – Tomas Domene’s drag flick drilled through the legs of Black Sticks keeper Leon Hayward.
Domene struck again off a nifty deflection at the end of the first quarter. The 25-year-old then completed his hat-trick in the third quarter off another perfectly taken penalty corner flick to put his team even further in front.
Domene was not done yet, however. He added another goal from a penalty corner in the final quarter, this time dragging it into the bottom left corner. The floodgates opened in the last 10 minutes of the match, Lucas Martinez adding a fifth and Agustin Bugallo a sixth as Argentina wrapped up an impressive 6-1 victory.
Tomas Domene was named Player of the Match and said: “I think the performance for everyone was really good. For me to score is always nice but it’s teamwork. We know that if we defend well, afterwards we’ll have some opportunities on attack, so we are happy to win.”
(Women’s) Belgium vs Australia 0-2
Boosted by their stunning shoot-out upset of the Dutch just five days earlier, the Australians had a spring in their step as they took on Belgium. They struck an early blow when a perfectly placed ball from Jane Claxton found an unmarked Courtney Schonell in the circle who deflected in to take the lead.
Belgium managed to build more pressure in the second quarter but they couldn’t convert that into goals, reaching half time still 1-0 down.
The Hockeyroos then doubled their lead four minutes into the second half, Rosie Malone deflecting the ball in off a penalty corner. And while the Belgians kept pushing for a goal, creating several opportunities, things just didn’t seem to go their way, the Aussie defence holding firm to ensure the 2-0 victory.
Penny Squibb was named Player of the Match and said: “We had a plan going into this game and we executed quite well. There are obviously still things to learn and take into our next game so we’ll go home, review that and then move forward to our next game… It’s always nice to get a win, it’s always nice to execute our skills and play well as a team. We’re all about team performances and whoever puts the ball in the back of the net, we’re always happy so we’ll just keep moving forward now.”
To see the current standings in the FIH Hockey Pro League, click here.
FIH Pro League – 16 June 2023
Lee Valley Tennis and Hockey Centre, London (GBR)
Result: Women’s Match 49
Great Britain 0-2 Germany
Player of the Game: Selin Oruz (GER)
Umpires: Alison Keogh (IRL), Céline Martin-Schmets (BEL), German Montes de Oca (ARG)
Result: Men’s Match 49
Netherlands 3-2 Spain
Player of the Game: Steijn van Heijningen (NED)
Umpires: Tyler Klenk (CAN), German Montes de Oca (ARG), Céline Martin-Schmets (BEL-video),
Sportcentrum Wilrijkse Plein – Antwerp (BEL)
Result: Men’s Match 50
Argentina 6-1 New Zealand
Player of the Game: Tomas Domene (ARG)
Umpires: Martin Madden (SCO), Coen van Bunge (NED), Michelle Meister (GER-video)
Result: Women’s Match 50
Belgium 0-2 Australia
Player of the Game: Penny Squibb (AUS)
Umpires: Annelize Rostron (RSA), Xiaoying Liu (CHN), Michelle Meister (GER-video)