Tears rolled down Eva de Goede’s cheeks ahead of the Netherlands’ defence of their title. The Dutch then rolled over an Irish side in what was a repeat of the 2018 final.
At a rocking Wagener Stadium, Ireland faced the reigning World Cup, Olympic and European champions as the hosts’ setpiece routine put paid to Green Amry hopes via two corner goals, two from strokes. A 5-1 victory in front of 9,500 was the perfect start for the co-hosts.
Last November, De Goede was set to miss this World Cup after a torn cruciate ligament. The oldest Oranje duly lined up for the anthems as emotions took hold.
If there were nerves, the Dutch needed all her wise experience. For Ireland were in the opening Pool clash up until the third quarter when Róisín Upton’s long drag found the net.
It was their first goal in their last eight meetings with the Oranje, dating back to 2005.
Irish captain Katie Mullan said: “Right now, it’s back to the drawing board but I am extremely proud of the girls. We have four debuts today and what a spectacle to do it in. they should be so proud of their performances. They were fantastic and played as if they had far more than zero!”
Chilean head coach Sergio Vigil fought back tears as his team lined up for their first ever World Cup appearance. They were in the game at 2-1 before Germany ran out 4-1 winners.
New Zealand returned to international action with a 2-2 draw against China.
A masterclass in penalty corner striking from Agustina Gorzelany saw Argentina break down a resilient Korea defence to start their campaign in some style, winning 4-0.