RAIPUR: World champions Australia lived up to their game as they edged Netherlands 3-2 and advanced to the summit clash of the World Hockey League Finals here on Friday.
Coming into this encounter after putting out Germany in the last match, the Kookaburras quickly got into their stride as Dylan Wotherspoon (8th minute) gave them the lead. The Dutch, who had beaten Canada in their last match, were hardly allowed a sniff and relied on scraps and lost causes in the first quarter.
Daniel Beale doubled their advantage in the 22nd minute from a penalty corner before Constantijn Jonker got one back minute before the half-time whistle. Mirco Pruijser restored parity before Matt Gohdes struck the winner 18 minute before time. Australia will face the winner of the India vs Belgium match on Sunday.
However, Dutch custodian Jaap Stockmann reflected that even though they were disappointed, they showed character to come back into the match. “Obviously, we are disappointed but I think we came back pretty well after the first quarter. So that’s something we are satisfied with. We are happy with how we have played,” he opined.
Stockmann confirmed he won’t be playing in the Hockey India League because of Rio preparations.
Later in the day, Argentina defeated Great Britain 4-2 to finish fifth.