FIH Pro League (women) 2020, Hockey News: The Dutch take a 4-0 win against the hosts Belgium to extend its lead at the top of the FIH Hockey Pro League standings for women on Wednesday. Margot van Geffen (NED), who scored a superb goal in the third quarter, was adjudged Player of the match.
In her post match conference, she said "We made it 4-0, but we wanted to score more. We had opportunities to score more, but it was a good game."
Talking about how the team will now go into a period of quarantine, Margot Van Geffen said: "We are allowed to train only with the [national] team, so we have to stay at home until we can train!"
Belgium's Stephanie Vanden Borre, who made an incredible goal-line clearance for Belgium, said: "When we were 1-0 down, we felt we could get back in the game, but we really lost it. We went down, we didn't want to play anymore, we were hiding, then you [concede three goals in five minutes], which is really [poor]."
Just a minute before the final whistle, Belgium had an excellent save. It was an incredible clearance from Stephanie Vanden Borre. The Dutch looked certain to score from a penalty corner situation, with Malou Pheninckx slapping for goal after a save from Picard. However, defender Vanden Borre has other ideas, diving across the goal to make a brilliant block on the line to keep the Dutch out. Amazing work.
A minute earlier, the Netherlands had a penalty corner inside the final few minutes, but Frederique Matla's drag-flick sailed wide of the left post.
Although the Dutch effectively killed the game as a contest with that three goal burst in the third quarter, Belgium played well in the final period. The Dutch lead was not in danger, but the Red Panthers looked determined to make a mark on the scoreboard.
Belgium won its first penalty corner in the 48th minute of the match, giving them a chance to get on the scoreboard. However, the Dutch defence held firm, with Laura Nunnink blocking a slap-shot from the top of the circle before effectively clearing the danger.
When the third quarter ended, the Netherlands had taken a comfortable 4-0 lead. Belgium had worked exceptionally hard, but on the balance of play, it was hard to dispute the fact that the Netherlands deserved this healthy lead.
The Dutch were creating scoring opportunities seemingly at will currently, and the Belgian goal is living a charmed life. Ireen van den Assem fires just wide of the target moments after Margot van Geffen forced a save from Belgium goalkeeper Elodie Picard, who kicked out a left foot to stop the Netherlands from extending its advantage.
Another two penalty corner chances for the Dutch, but Belgium defend their lines on both occasions. Matla has a chance from open play, but fires wide of the target.
It was raining goals in Brussels! The fourth one for the Netherlands came in the 36th minute. A rare goal for Margot van Geffen, but it was a fine strike, entering the circle from the right before producing a powerful slap-shot into the roof of the Belgian net. Two goals in a minute, three since half time, and four goals in nine minutes either side of half time.
Lauren Stam slapped home a third for the Netherlands from a penalty corner. A third goal from five penalty corners was an impressive conversion rate.
Belgium responded in positive fashion to conceding the second goal and even created a chance of its own, but the Netherlands were in complete control here.
A minute into the second half, Frederique Matla found a foot in the Belgian circle and stepped up to bury the penalty corner, sending a low drag-flick into the bottom left corner. The Dutch lead was doubled.
Wlten's strike was the difference between the two teams as the Dutch went into the break with a solitary goal lead. The Dutch had dominated, but Belgium did really well to repel the reigning World, European and FIH Hockey Pro League champions for much of the opening 30 minutes.
In the 27th minute, the Netherlands took a deserved lead, with Lidewij Welten the scorer. The initial penalty corner was blocked but, following a video referral, another PC was awarded. The Belgian defence blocked the first effort, but Welten made no mistake with the follow-up, crashing the ball through a crowd of players to beat goalkeeper Picard at her near post.
Click here for latest updates on Sports.