FIH: Dutch women dig deep to beat China, Netherlands men bounce back with victory over India

The Dutch women had to dig deep to earn their 4-2 victory after a brave performance by China as FIH Hockey Pro League action continued in Eindhoven. Later in the evening, the Netherlands men did well to rally back from their worst ever home defeat a day earlier at the hands of Australia to beat India 3-2.


(Women’s) Netherlands vs China 4-2

It was all the Netherlands in the opening minutes of the match with Chinese keeper Liu Ping called in to make several saves early on. Ping did well to keep the score goalless by the first break.

China found some attacking form at the start of the second quarter, however. An excellent penalty corner variation culminated in He Jiangxin deflecting in for a surprise 1-0 lead. But it took only 30 seconds for the Dutch to find the equaliser which was set up by Felice Albers down the right-hand side. The impressive Albers crossed the ball in for Pien Dicke to slot it in to get the home side back on level terms.

The Dutch then scored their second off a penalty corner with five minutes left in the first half. Yibbi Jansen dragged it low to the keeper’s left to put her side in front.

The Chinese found their second goal in the third quarter. A loose pass out by a Dutch defender went straight to Zou Meirong on the edge of the D who then drilled it in from the right. But the Dutch were back in front by the end of the quarter after China conceded a penalty stroke, with Frédérique Matla finding the back of the net despite Ping going the right way.

It was another penalty corner that led to the Dutch side’s fourth goal of the game. Jansen once again powered it in, this time straight down the middle and through the keeper’s legs. That took the 23-year-old to the top of the women’s scoring chart with eight goals in the tournament so far. 

They may have beaten the same opposition by four goals three days earlier, but the Dutch had to work hard for their 4-2 victory on Saturday against an ever-improving Chinese side.

Felice Albers was named Player of the Match and said: “It was a really tough match. I think we started a little bit bad, but we scored some nice goals, but it was tough. Their defence was better than in the first game. They were quite close to each other so for us, for the way we want to attack, it was quite hard… I think we want to score more and more and more but the win is the important thing, so we are quite happy with that.” 


(Men’s) Netherlands vs India 3-2 

Looking for redemption after their heavy loss to Australia a day earlier, the Netherlands were first to score. Sheldon Schouten hit an attacking ball into the circle which found its way through traffic to Duco Telgenkamp to tap it in from the back post.

Telgenkamp was in action again, finding the back of the net off a penalty corner rebound. But a Dutch backstick before Telgenkamp’s strike meant the goal was disallowed.

India equalised when a great aerial ball found Sanjay on the baseline. He controlled it well and then beat the defence with a clever spin to find the far corner for his first international goal.

Abishek received another aerial ball into the circle with just a few seconds left on the clock in the first half, but his shot was comfortably saved by keeper Derk Meijer to keep the scores level at the break.

Ten minutes into the third quarter, a fantastic pass from Luke Dommershuijzen to a perfectly placed Boris Burkhardt gave the Dutchman plenty of time to blast it into goal.

Another Dutch penalty corner was then saved, but from the ensuing play, Joep de Mol injected the ball back in for Tjep Hoedemakers to produce the faintest of touches and deflect in through the keeper’s legs for the home side to take a 3-1 advantage into the final break.

Just 21 seconds into the final quarter a defensive error by the Dutch on their left flank saw Sujit turning over the ball. That allowed Lalit Upadhyay the opportunity to cross it to an unmarked Gurjant Singh who ran into the circle and hit a cracking reverse stick shot past the keeper’s left foot. 

There was plenty more action in the remaining minutes of the match but the score remained at 3-2, much to the relief of the home side.

Joep de Mol was named player of the match and said: “It was pretty tough. I think after the lesson Australia gave us it was a chance for us to respond today and I think we did pretty well with that. It wasn’t always good but at least we fought to the end and got the three points.”


To see the current standings in the FIH Hockey Pro League, click here. 


FIH Pro League – 10 June 2023

HC Oranje-Rood Stadium, Eindhoven (NED)

Result: Women’s Match 46

Netherlands 4-2 China

Player of the Game: Felice Albers (NED)

Umpires: Laurine Delforge (BEL), Sarah Wilson (SCO), Céline Martin-Schmets (BEL-video)


Result: Men’s Match 46

Netherlands 3-2 India

Player of the Game: Joep de Mol (NED)

Umpires: Ben Goentgen (GER), Hannah Harrison (ENG), Laurine Delforge (BEL-video)


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