The Dutch Juniors have had an excellent start to the World Cup under 21 in Potchefstroom, South Africa. On the opening day, America was defeated 9-0. That was partly due to a fantastic start. After the first quarter, the Netherlands was already leading 4-0.
Proud faces on the blue mat during the Wilhelmus, which was echoed in full. There they stood. Finally. The tournament with that much-discussed, extremely messy run-up started against a poor opponent. The United States’ talents, the number three of the last Pan American Cup, were completely overrun by the – it must also be said – very eager Orange. All the disappointment and uncertainty of the last few months led to an enormous urge to act in the first quarter.
In blissful hockey conditions – not too much sun, but above twenty degrees – the opening goal fell after four minutes, from the first corner of the game. Luna Fokke scored flawlessly, on the right side of the keeper. America was constantly hounded and barely made it over the center line. From one of the many attacks by the Netherlands, Noor Omrani scored 2-0 after eleven minutes, after a nice preparatory work by Maria Steensma. In the final minute of that sparkling first quarter, Noor de Baat also lashed out hard and effective with her backhand, after she released herself nicely in the circle.
In the same minute, Jip Dicke gave the Americans, the number eight of the previous youth World Cup, another blow. The HDM striker tapped in from close range. After the short break, the Netherlands failed to give that effective first quarter a good follow-up. Opportunities certainly came, it was too much ‘just not’. Just a variant of a corner – of which the Orange received six before half-time – not well executed. Just too late, or too early for a tip-in. Striking was a moment just before half-time, in which the Netherlands got the green card because the declarant was ready too late at an attacking corner. So the sharpness was gone for a while.
Fortunately, that turned out to be a temporary ailment. Because after the break, the Dutch Juniors picked up the thread ‘normally’ again. Luna Fokke lifted the lead to 5-0 with her second corner goal. Six minutes later, Rosa Fernig scored twice for a corner. The first attempt went wide, but the second was slammed in by the captain of Dave Smolenaars’ team: 6-0.
In the last quarter, it was again Fokke who hit the ball. The ball fell behind the line through the bottom of the bar, so that the Kampong midfielder is already on three goals after one day. America, which only entered the Dutch circle four times in total, could do little more. While it started to rain more heavily, the Dutch Juniors were still looking for goals. And they came, via Marleen Jochems and Mette Winter. It underlined the excellent start that the Netherlands has made. Tomorrow (Saturday) the next opponent will be waiting, then the Dutch Juniors will play against Canada.
Netherlands – United States 9-0 (4-0)
‘4 1-0 Fokke (sc)
’11 2-0 Omrani
’15 3-0 De Baat
’15 4-0 Dicke
’34 5-0 Fokke (sc)
‘ 40 6-0 Fernig (sc)
’50 7-0 Fokke (sc)
’56 8-0 Jochems
’58 9-0 Winter