On the way to the European Championship, the Netherlands dealt a firm blow to Germany. Die Danas, finalist in the last two European title tournaments, was beaten 5-0 in the Pro League by a flashy start and a spectacular end. 

Paul van Ass’s team has entered a new phase in that – we say it quite often – packed June month. The real stars got a rest for the diptych with low flyer America and joined the Orange again this week. That meant that Xan de Waard, Felice Albers, Frédérique Matla, Yibbi Jansen and Maria Verschoor were back in the field. A quality injection that was needed, looking at the last meeting with the US . In it, the Orange almost drowned against a weak opponent due to a faltering corner and – especially before half-time – a distressing shortage of field opportunities.

It was better against Germany. The team of national coach Valentin Altenburg is one of the main competitors of the Netherlands at the European Championships in August. The German women were therefore in the last two European Championship finals, which were both lost to the Orange squad. They were also the best European country after the Netherlands at the previous World Cup and are the highest ranked team from our continent in the world ranking after the Orange.

Long story short, an excellent indicator, about seven weeks before the European Championship.

Frédérique Matla celebrates the opening goal against Germany. Photo: William Vernes
Frédérique Matla celebrates the opening goal against Germany. Photo: William Vernes



Swing and dance

And that made the wonderful first quarter of Orange even better. Because it whirled in the old-fashioned nicely filled Wagener Stadium. That swirled like a knockout duel in a major tournament. They also had a lot to enjoy in the evening sun. The fact that the first chance was created after nineteen seconds turned out to be a harbinger for fifteen flaming minutes.

The only thing the Netherlands could reproach themselves with was that the score was only 1-0 after fifteen minutes, thanks to a ticker from Matla, thanks to that goal now joint top scorer of all time in the Pro League, which was the end station of a beautiful attack over many discs . There were plenty of them in ‘Q1’, in which the Orange tore the German defense to shreds with the regularity of the clock.

It swung, danced and buzzed. So the 2-0 couldn’t stay out for long either. Jansen, who was so badly missed at the head of the circle against the USA, promoted corner number three of the evening to a goal. Shortly after Germany had received its first corner thanks to a bit of luck – clumsy shoot by Sanne Koolen – and had a little color on its cheeks again, it received the next blow to the ears. Bam. Another corner from Jansen who plopped into the goal. Keeper Julia Sonntag therefore had a very tough start to the weekend.

Yibbi Jansen, good for two goals against Germany. Photo: William Vernes
Yibbi Jansen, good for two goals against Germany. Photo: William Vernes



Marriage proposal

That pleasant summer storm of the first 20.25 minutes died down after the break. There was a remarkable moment in between. Because believe it or not, a real marriage proposal took place in the Wagener during the break. To bridge the gap: the Netherlands had long since had Germany on its knees at that time. There were opportunities in the less energetic third quarter, but it constantly just didn’t end well. A shot from Joosje Burg that was just not hit well, a cracked drag from Matla and a backhand from Freeke Moes that sailed across, all examples that the sharpness of the beginning was no longer there.

Josine Koning, who replaced Anne Veenendaal in goal at half-time, had to work hard in the last quarter at a German corner to keep the zero on the board. Shortly afterwards, Yibbi Jansen had to stop fighting. The two-time goalscorer was looking for the catacombs with a head injury after an opponent bumped into her hard. Only after Laura Nunnink’s yellow card – hitting the ball – did the Orange come to life again.

Paul van Ass’s team recovered with one man less. It ran again, the machine was on again. Joosje Burg, who also scored two goals against the US on Tuesday, now also played the role of finisher twice. Within two minutes she signed for the 4-0 and 5-0. Especially that last goal, a beautifully played attack, was of great beauty.

It showed that the Netherlands is much, much further ahead than competitor Germany. A competitor, from which an Orange in form has little to fear.


by Hockey.nl

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