The very young Dutch team selected for the FIH Pro League in India survived Saturday in the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, which had turned into a baking oven. After the 1-2 loss on Friday , the Orange played a nice 1-1 draw a day later. The shoot-outs were also won by the Netherlands, which earned a bonus point and remains the leader in the Pro League.
Afterwards, there was – apart from the necessary fatigue – plenty of joy in the Dutch camp, where Yibbi Jansen once again claimed the lead role through her utilized penalty corner in the fourth quarter. Jansen also played an excellent game and also made her shoot-out, which gave her first game as captain of the Orange squad even more shine.
After Lidewij Welten, Frédérique Matla, Pien Sanders and Renée van Laarhoven, Jansen was the fifth player in the last five international matches to wear the band.
The Orange Women showed again on Saturday in the almost empty and sweltering Kalinga Stadium on the basis of Jansen that the future of Dutch women’s hockey is all right. The Netherlands entered with a glorified teenage team, of which some of the talents are not yet ‘turn’ to play in the big Orange. Above them is the current Junior squad, which is currently on gold in South Africa at the U21 world championship and will also compete against (Young) India on Sunday.
In Bhubaneswar, the youngsters in this occasional Orange team showed that they are not only full of talent, but also have the necessary physical and mental strength. The players had to play at the highest level twice within 24 hours, while the conditions were very tough.
Compared to Friday, the temperature in the Kalinga Stadium had risen considerably on Saturday. On the field, the mercury rose towards forty degrees, so that even the heat protocol was pulled out of the closet and the players were allowed to quench their thirst halfway through each quarter.
Those circumstances were new for almost all Dutch players from this roster. Unlike their Indian opponents, who are already used to these temperatures and will face hotter fires in the coming months. On the field, the Dutch hockey players were not put off. They were at least equal to their much more experienced opponents, who were welcomed as heroes in their country last year after the surprising fourth place at the Games in Tokyo.
Just like Friday’s game, the Netherlands had a hard time with the Indian corner. In the first game, the home team already scored twice, on Saturday the penalty corner resulted in a goal for coach Janneke Schopman’s team within a minute. The first corner was still managed, the second was neatly tipped by Rajwinder Kaur: 1-0.
Despite their youthful age, the Orange players were not deterred by the quick setback. Carefully they played the ball around and made their way towards the Indian goal. That did not result in great opportunities in the first quarter, although Lilli de Nooijer was unlucky that she just didn’t get a cross from Kyra Fortuyn on her stick.
The Orange also kept pace with India in the second quarter. Once again, the Netherlands had opportunities, but just like Friday, it lacked sharpness and conviction in the circle to really hurt the home team. That also applied to India, so that the halftime score remained 1-0.
Halfway through the third quarter, the Netherlands had the first real opportunity, after the strong playing Marente Barentsen took a penalty corner. With Jansen on the bench, the Netherlands had to rely on Van Laarhoven’s flats, who were easily turned over by goalkeeper Savita. On the other hand, Julia Remmerswaal acted well twice, as a result of which no more goals were scored in the third quarter.
Corner of Jansen
In the fourth quarter, the Orange went on the hunt for the equalizer. That resulted in eight corners. For a long time the attempts of the ‘experienced Jansen and Van Laarhoven’ did not seem to be successful, but six minutes before the end Jansen pushed again wonderfully: 1-1. It was already her seventh goal in the last five international matches.
Although India still hit the bar in the final phase, the Orange Ladies got a draw after sixty minutes where they were at least right on hand. With the won bonus point in the bag, the Orange ladies can still take the plane home on Sunday as the leader in the Pro League and with their heads held high.