The Netherlands has recovered well from the bad day against France last Wednesday. In Potchefstroom, the third three-pointer of this Pro League season was taken against host country South Africa. Orange triumphed with big numbers: 2-6.
Admittedly, the poster is not enough to fill a book with. Certainly not in the knowledge that the Orange squad crushed the South Africans 11-1 on Tuesday . But in the broader context, this meeting with the global number eleven was an interesting one. Today, the main question was how the Netherlands would recover from that difficult victory last Wednesday, when France was only defeated after taking shoot-outs . A match in which the Orange squad dropped offensively – missed too many opportunities – and defensively – gave away too many opportunities.
“I don’t expect that we will get the same score as last time,” said national coach Jeroen Delmée, referring to that 11-1, before the game in front of the FIH cameras. He was right. Because South Africa, certainly in the beginning, looked a lot more solid. It took a lucky ball to disrupt the hosts’ defence. About ten seconds before the end of the first quarter, Jorrit Croon threw the ball into the circle from the center line. Hoping for the best. And sure enough. Thijs van Dam reacted a lot more attentively than the South African defence, which looked very clumsy at the time. The Rotterdam attacker pushed in the 0-1 in the whistle.
Matlaian average for Brinkman
The somewhat stiff start seemed completely forgotten, when Thierry Brinkman tipped in the 0-2 six minutes later, after a nice assist from Imre Vos. It was already the fourth goal for Brinkman during this trip. A Matlaian average .
So no problem for the Orange, which saw the Kampong trio Lars Balk, Jonas de Geus and Jip Janssen return today. Pirmin Blaak, a bit ill, was still missing. South Africa suddenly became dangerous just before half-time. Out of the blue . The African champion got two corners in a row, the last of which was skilfully used by Leneal Jackson. A minute later, the home team again ended up in the circle with the Netherlands. Again with success.
Because an alleged push by Teun Beins resulted in a penalty shot. Nicholas Spooner, however, failed to really hurt the Orange. His effort exploded over Maurits Visser on the crossbar. An expensive miss, as it turned out a little later. Because the Netherlands made – after having breathed a sigh of relief – the 1-3 from the ensuing attack. A huge blow, of course, for South Africa. Dennis Warmerdam tapped it in, on a pass from Van Dam.
Orange pushes on after rest
The Orange pushed on and increasingly came into the circle of South Africa. The fourth goal was inevitable. Again it was Warmerdam who was accurate, this time with his backhand. A thank you could also go to the opponents, who lost the ball in their own circle.
A good penalty corner, number two of Orange, resulted in the 1-5. After Jip Janssen was allowed to try early in the race, Tim Swaen now applied. The deployment of the Brabander in Bloemendaal’s service flew in through the legs of the keeper.
After Terrance Pieters – also very unhappy in the finish against France – saw a free shot chance hit the post, Tjep Hoedemakers still made it 1-6. A special moment; it was his first goal in Orange. That seemed to be the final score, but Matthew De Sousa decided otherwise. The South African attacker took advantage of a weak high ball from Jonas de Geus and made it 2-6 in the final seconds.
An unnecessarily sloppy end to a duel, in which the Netherlands expanded the score after the break. However, the stormy minutes with the goal against and the penalty ball show that this Orange has not yet shaken off its capriciousness.
South Africa – Netherlands 2-6 (1-3)
15. Thijs van Dam 0-1
21. Thierry Brinkman 0-2
26. Leneal Jackson (sc) 1-2
29. Dennis Warmerdam 1-3
39. Dennis Warmerdam 1 -4
46. Tim Swaen (sc) 1-5
54. Tjep Hoedemakers 1-6
60. Matthew De Sousa 2-6