The Netherlands ended 2018 by remaining the world’s No 1 women’s hockey team in the latest rankings after a record-equalling win on Sunday.
The Dutch, who convincingly won the World Cup in the summer, won their seventh Women’s Champions Trophy to level up with Argentina, with the tournament now replaced by the Pro League.
Their 5-1 victory over Australia in Sunday’s final means that the Dutch have extended their unbeaten run to 43 competitive games (42 wins and one draw): the last time they lost a match was a test match against Belgium last July.
Alyson Annan’s meteoric side have been the world’s best side since October 2011 and after fielding plenty of new faces in China look set to continue their assault of their nearest rivals.
“It is a question of keeping things as simple as possible,” said Annan.
“We challenge each other to reach new levels and we focus on ourselves and how we can keep getting better.”
In China, the Dutch were led imperiously by player of the Tournament, Eva de Goede, who also scored a cracker of a goal to double her team’s lead in their mauling of the Hockeyroos.
— International Hockey Federation (@FIH_Hockey) November 25, 2018
As ever, new faces emerge at every turn for the Oranje.
And over the last week, we will be seeing plenty more of Marijn Veen, the 19-year-old sensation who finished as rising player and top scorer at the tournament.