LONDON, 29 July – Kim Lammers (NED) marked her long-awaited Olympic hockey debut with two goals that ruined Belgium’s first appearance at the Olympic Games, defeated 3-0 by Netherlands at the Riverbank Arena on Sunday.
Netherlands dominated play from the beginning and forced Belgium into an immediate defensive strategy, but it wasn’t until the 13th minute that Netherlands won their first penalty corner and had their first good chance to open the scoring.
Maartje Paumen (NED), top scorer at Beijing 2008 with 11 penalty corner goals, couldn’t convert her first of London 2012. Her powerful flick was pushed on to the crossbar by the tournament’s youngest player, 17-year-old Aisling D’Hooghe in the Belgium goal.
Paumen would have had a second chance with her set-piece, but when Netherlands won their second penalty corner in the 23rd minute she was off the field.
Eva de Goede (NED) – making her 100th international appearance – took responsibility in her absence, but her low flick was blocked by D’Hooghe who justified her surprise late selection for the Belgium squad with many good saves as Netherlands dominated first-half play.
She was eventually beaten in the 33rd minute when, after some neat stick work in the middle of the field, de Goede played the ball powerfully into the Belgium circle and Lammers deflected the ball into the net to make it 1-0.
Despite making her Netherlands debut in 2002, London 2012 is Lammers” first Olympic appearance. And seven minutes into the second half she scored her second goal, again deflecting the ball past D’Hooghe, this time at the near post after excellent work along the backline by Ellen Hoog (NED).
Further pressure followed from Netherlands with Hoog sending a strong shot just wide from the left, pressure that earned Netherlands more penalty corner chances.
D’Hooghe blocked another Paumen flick in the 53rd minute and also a second from de Goede in the 59th minute, but Caia van Maasasakker found a way through with a powerful strike a minute later to make it 3-0.
Belgium earned their only penalty corner chance in the final minute of the match, but couldn’t mark their Olympic debut with a goal.
Confusion at the top of the circle led to a tame Anne-Sophie van Regemortel shot that was easily blocked by Netherlands goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek to leave the final score 3-0.