Netherlands: Five Key Moments That Ruined the Dutch Juniors’ World Cup Dream

The Dutch Juniors’ World Cup dream shattered on Tuesday. In Kuala Lumpur, the Netherlands defeated by India in the quarter-finals, 4-3. A strange match, with many plot twists. We highlight five key moments that ensured that the team of national coach Jesse Mahieu no longer competed for the medals.

’17 – ’30 The missed opportunities in the second quarter at 3-0

What a great relief when Pepijn van der Heijden made it 2-0 at the start of the second quarter. His striking drag gave the Netherlands the reward it was absolutely entitled to. Because there were plenty of opportunities after Timo Boers’ quick opening goal – also from the corner. 

And even after that second goal, the opportunities keep coming. A beautiful attack from the right, in which Olivier Hortensius can score freely. The striker hits the outbound Indian goalkeeper. Six minutes later: another corner – number four – via Boers, whose effort is saved by the same goalkeeper. Hortensius’ rebound goes sky high. A (difficult, indeed) diving ball from Casper van der Veen where goalkeeper Mohith is also present. All opportunities at a time when India is becoming a bit more dangerous. After thirty minutes, there are eleven goal attempts behind the name of the Dutch Juniors. And only two goals.

’36  The penalty that completed the chaos

India scored the tying goal just after half-time, from the Asians’ first really big field chance. They take over the initiative. Discs with hard hits across the width. Exactly a minute and a half after the 2-1, the ball arrives on the left side, near the Indian left back. He takes it, a few meters past the halfway line. There is no pressure on him. The back throws a scoop, diagonally across the field. Towards the circle.

There is already attacker Jojo. And also the defending Boris Aardenburg, who stands for the Indian. The ball is on its way to the Indian striker, when Aardenburg makes a last-ditch attempt to intercept the ball. He jumps high off the ground with his stick far above his head. Jojo is hindered and therefore cannot reach the ball. Referee Benjamin Peters judges that this is deliberately dangerous play by the Dutch Juniors, within the circle. So a penalty ball. An interpretation by the American referee that makes requesting the video referee virtually unnecessary. Moreover, he was right on top of the situation. The Netherlands swallows its frustration and sees the penalty ball fly in. 2-2, with two goals within two minutes.

WP7 3922 - Netherlands: Five key moments that ruined the Dutch Juniors' World Cup dream - The Dutch Juniors' World Cup dream shattered on Tuesday. In Kuala Lumpur, the Netherlands defeated India in the quarter-finals, 4-3. A strange match, with many plot twists. We highlight five key moments that ensured that the team of national coach Jesse Mahieu no longer competed for the medals.

Foto: Worldsportpics/Will Palmer

’56 Losing the video call

It is a powerful weapon, which few players had experience with. Deploying the video referee. Only youth internationals who have already played a World Cup-21, EHL or play-offs have previously had to deal with this tool. Four minutes before the end of the quarter-final it is 3-3 when India starts to attack again. They are hurting the Netherlands on all sides. Through their scoops, but also through the rushes of their number 78, playmaker Rajinder Singh. A cross from the right side is cracked and arcs into the circle.

The ball falls in a kind of no man’s land between Aardenburg’s Indian opponent. Peters – who was busy – whistled for a corner, because he noticed that the ball was hitting Aardenburg. The Netherlands is contesting the decision. Boers reports to the referee that India first made a stick tackle. Video referee Zeke Newman gets to work. Views the images from all angles. After a minute and a half of waiting in the smoldering heat, a rather sour conclusion follows for the Dutch Juniors. ‘Ben, there is no reason to change your decision. You can restart with a penalty corner. And The Netherlands will lose their referral.’ 

’57 De fatale 3-4

After the penalty corner where the Dutch Juniors lose their referral, another corner follows. First runner Aardenburg points out that he received the ball at knee height. More hands go up and Peters gets a lot of pleading looks. But there is no more for the Netherlands than pointing and watching. The hatch to the video referee is closed. They can only cross themselves and hope that that third corner in a row does not yield success for India.

Then the Asians do something remarkable. In the first two corners in this series they only have two couples upside down. Now, at number three, a player – Boby Dhami – moves up to the left. Better said: Dhami sneaks away from the head. Shuffles until he is facing the complainant, hatching a secret plan. India indeed takes the corner ‘short’. From there, Dhami flattens the ball to the penalty spot. Hard and tight. The Netherlands is surprised and can barely put pressure on that ball. It ends up on the stick of the captain Uttam Singh, who makes it 3-4. For the first time in the match, India is leading. At a very important moment.

’59 – ’60 The corner rain

It is unreal to watch the corner rain from the Dutch Juniors in the last 99 seconds of the match. If you like Dutch hockey horror, absolutely do it. If not, save yourself the trouble. Because even if you already know the result, it makes you restless. It is Boers who prepares for the last chance of the match. At least that’s what it seems at that moment, 1.39 minutes before the end. In practice, this is the beginning of a crazy ending to this unpredictable quarter-final. That first corner pushes Boers against the foot of a runner. Number two hits the keeper, the third against a run-out body.

We are only sixteen seconds into pure playing time when the Netherlands tries something different at the fourth corner. Via Van der Heijden it goes back to Boers, whose bet is this time broken by a stick. With that it all seems ready for the Dutch Juniors, until the Indian Arjun Lanange hits Guus Jansen inside the 23. Nineteen seconds before the end there is another corner.

Again Boers pushes on one foot. Not once, but twice. It is the Indian Rohit, who is later voted Man of the Match. The man with magnets in his shoes. At corner three, the Netherlands is on the edge of the circle with everyone. It is stopped upside down incorrectly. After half a bet, there is another great opportunity for Hortensius, but he mows over the ball. In the follow-up shot, defender Casper Berkman – perhaps his first circle penetration of this tournament – shoots the ball high into the side net.

A whistle sounds. Three times. Game over.

by Hockey.nl

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