Friday, April 19, 2024

EuroHockey 2017: Netherlands comeback clinches thrilling men’s gold 4-2 against Belgium

AMSTERDAM — How to silence – initially – 10,000 Oranje? Play forceful, serene hockey with incisive interchanges. Belgium, 2-0 up inside 30 minutes, did just that and with some aplomb as they sent a disbelieving Wagener Stadium into rare lapses of the cacophony which had emblazoned the last 10 days of these fine Championships.

And then came the stirring 23-minute fightback. Back came the roars as Holland swept up field, fed by turnovers and preying on the Belgium goal.

Second half goals from Robert Kemperman, Mink van der Weerden and a Mirco Pruijser double finished the frenzy as Holland retained their title in thrilling style with a whirlwind-like 4-2 victory here.

After a fourth place in Rio, this wasn’t on the cards in front of an expectant nation and nearly 24 hours after the women’s success.

But Belgium, looking for their first major championship success, were worthy leaders.

Tom Boon slotted home a ninth minute penalty corner before Cedric Charlier scored a sublime second with the faintest of stick touches with his back to goal.

Pockets of Belgium support erupted; the Rotterdam hockey ultras were silenced.

Minute by minute, however, space opened for the Dutch. Belgium were offering turnover ball with increasing regularity and Max Caldas’ side had no problem racing into the Belgium circle.

They were soon level through Kemperman’s quite blistering strike and the abrasive, brilliant, goal-hungry Pruijser who bundled home after a 46th minute penalty corner strike which had initially come off the bar.

Two goals in eight minutes – followed by a ripped van der Weerden corner strike and a Pruijser tap in with 20 seconds left. What a dazzling turnaround.

The Olympic silver medallists had played their part. But this was quite some 30 minutes of hockey whch won the day for the Dutch – a result no-one would’ve been placing money on with the best sportsbooks reviewed.

A fitting end to a passionate Championships.

Total Hockey


Most Popular


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More from Author

An open top parade down Surbiton high street? Top hockey clubs need to create own fan engagement

Take the 25-minute walk from Surbiton train station to Sugden Road,...

Old Georgians bag England Hockey Premier Division hat-trick in style

Surbiton -- Old Georgians’ old guard paved the way for a...

England Hockey League Finals: Surbiton women back on top with ninth title in 10

Surbiton -- Sophie Hamilton served notice of her star potential with...

‘Flair that’s rare’: Sophie Bray hailed as one of greatest hockey players

Surbiton -- Alex Danson-Bennett hailed the retiring Sophie Bray as one...

- A word from our sponsors -