Harpal Singh Bedi / Bhubaneswar
Playing to a plan Netherlands hammered clueless Pakistan 5-1 in their last pool D league match of the 14th Hockey world Cup at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday
However both the teams will figure in the cross over matches which will decide the remaining quarter finalists. Netherlands will take on Canada and Pakistan will face Belgium on Tuesday.
For Netherlands, who led 2-1 at half time, the goal scorers were Thierry Brinkman (7th) Valentin Verga (27th), Bob de Voogd (37th) , Lars Balk (47th) and Mink van der Weerden (59th) while Umar Bhutta (9th) was the lone scorer for the losers
The teams who share seven world cup titles between them out of the 13th ,started the game cautiously, trying to probe and find out each other’s weaknesses and grey areas.
It took only four minutes for the Dutch to open up and forced their first penalty corner but Pakistani defenders managed to clear Mink van der Weerden’s drag flick but on the rebound Mirco Pruijser missed the target.
The Dutch came back again into the rival’s citadel but Billy Bakker’s shot missed the target by a whisker. However the Pakistani defence collapsed against the repeated Dutch assault .In the 7th minute Sande Baart ran down the right flank and set up unmarked Thierry Brinkman who just tapped the ball home giving goal Keeper Imran Butt no chance to react (1-0)
The lead lasted only two minutes as the Pakistani countered and that rattle the Dutch defence who conceded three back to back penalty corners. Umar Bhutta converted the third one to draw parity for the Green Shirts. The first quarter was fought on equal terms with the Green Shirts showing better coordination and fighting it hard.
The second quarter however belonged to the Dutch, who regrouped themselves and
and attacked from the flanks making Pakistan defence look vulnerable Striker Billy Bakker dribbled past couple of players and entered into the circle, but the Pakistanis managed to thwart the attack.
Another attack followed but this time Van Dam’s shot hit the far post. However there was no relief for the Pak defence as striker Mirco Pruijser set up Billy Bakker through to the goal on the edge of the circle, but the skipper failed to collect the ball .
Hard pressed Pakistanis tried to counter and that earned them a penalty corner, but Mubashar Ali’s drag flick was well read by Pirmin Blaak who made a smart save
It was in the 27th minute that the Netherlands again took the lead when out of no where Seve van Ass and Valentin Verga in tendem created an opening and set up Verga who ran down from the middle and smashed home van Ass’ pass from the edge of the circle. (2-!)
Five minutes into the second session, after surviving some chances Pakistan caved in as Netherlands earned a penalty corner, but Imran Butt made a good save..A minute later Toseeq Arshad made a fine tackle to prevent another circle entry by the Dutch through Bob de Voogd
Despite Pakistani defenders heroics they could not prevent another goal when Hertzberger got a pass from the deep, and raced from the left and relayed the ball to Bob de Voogd who did the rest (3-1).The Dutch harassed the Pakistani defence with two more as the four-time champion scrambles to clear the danger.
The Dutch slammed two more goals to wrap up the match (5-1) and end Pakistan’s misery. The Fourth team from this pool-Malaysia- made the exit from the tournament.
This was the 12th clash between the two teams in the World Cup, with Pakistan winning 6th The Netherlands 4 and 2 draws.