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JWC: the Dutch Juniors Shake Off Tough India to Reach Final

The Dutch Juniors have qualified for the final of the World Cup under 21 in Potchefstroom. The top favourite had a hard time with tough India for a long time, but the Netherlands made the difference in the last seven minutes. It resulted in a flattering 3-0 result. 

There they were. The real hugs. The pure joy. The Liberation. It was not easy against India and that only made the joy even greater afterwards.

The route to the semi-finals could not have been better for the Dutch Juniors. After the group stage, in which the United States, Canada and Zimbabwe (9-0, 11-0 and 18-0) were won with two fingers in the nose, a slightly more difficult task against South Africa in the quarterfinals (5-0) followed. ). Today against India it would – in itself logically – become a bit heavier again, expected national coach Dave Smolenaars.

image 14 - JWC: the Dutch Juniors Shake Off Tough India to Reach Final - The Dutch Juniors have qualified for the final of the World Cup after beating India 3-0 @worldsportpics_
POTCHEFSTROOM FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup 2022 Netherlands v India (Semi-Final) Picture: Tessa Beetsma WORLDSPORTPICS COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK

Tessa Beetsma, the maker of the 1-0. Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek

India, which, like the Orange, won all its duels at this World Cup, turned out to be more than a worthy opponent in the opening phase. In fact, Erik Wonink’s team was absolutely the better in the stormy first minutes. In the first six minutes there were already three dangerous moments in the Dutch circle. Then the Orange escaped when India screwed up three corners in a row.

The Netherlands needed a revival to get into the game. And it came.

He was gorgeous. The attack in the twelfth minutes. Over at least seven discs. Like a snake from left back to front right and finally to the penalty spot where Tessa Beetsma swept the ball in. She jumped a hole in the air, after the goal that was actually against the proportions. It was a goal that was liberating, as the Netherlands gained more control over the game, which had been dictated by India until then.

image 13 - JWC: the Dutch Juniors Shake Off Tough India to Reach Final - The Dutch Juniors have qualified for the final of the World Cup after beating India 3-0 @worldsportpics_
POTCHEFSTROOM FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup 2022 Netherlands v India (Semi-Final) Picture: Tessa Beetsma scored 1-0. WORLDSPORTPICS COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK

Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek

Blanket of tension

For a moment it seemed that Beetsma – the most dangerous attacker in the Netherlands – also scored 2-0 with her backhand. However, the HDM striker had made a convex side so that the goal did not go through. The Netherlands had opportunities for that second goal before half-time, but the three corners of Orange all yielded nothing. 

The Netherlands also held the reins in the second half. That quickly led to a shot opportunity for Luna Fokke, which was turned over by Indian keeper Bichu Kharibam. The closing post of India, which made a lot of noise, saw the Orange kill two more corners. Opportunities that the Netherlands should have handled much more carefully. Now India remained in the game. Slumped in wait for that one counter opportunity, which would always come somewhere. 

image 12 - JWC: the Dutch Juniors Shake Off Tough India to Reach Final - The Dutch Juniors have qualified for the final of the World Cup after beating India 3-0 @worldsportpics_
POTCHEFSTROOM FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup 2022 Netherlands v India (Semi-Final) Picture: Luna Fokke scored 2-0. WORLDSPORTPICS COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK

As a result, a blanket of tension hung over the match for a long time. A stuffy, oppressive feeling, which was supplanted seven minutes before the end. The Netherlands struck from the counter. A beautiful pass from Noor Omrani ended up at Luna Fokke, who pushed the 2-0 into the corner with her backhand. The ban was thus broken. A minute later, the 3-0 also fell, via Jip Dicke. The top scorer of Orange, who was not yet enjoying the match, already made her thirteenth of this tournament.

So in the end it all went well – again – for the Orange. And the resistance increases per match. Tuesday is the final, in which Germany or England are the opponents. 

Netherlands – India 3-0 (1-0)
’12 1-0 Beetsma ’53 2-0 Fokke ’54 3-0 Dicke 

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