The Hockey Paper runs the rule over Sunday’s World Cup bronze medal and final matches at Estadi Olimpico
The Hockey Paper’s final report
World Cup history
The history books favour Argentina heading into Sunday’s World Cup final between the world’s top two sides, in what will be their third meeting in a final and a repeat of last summer’s Tokyo Olympic gold medal match.
Will the emotions and energy-sapping exertions of the Argentina squad following their shoot-out win over Germany play a part in how they perform against the Dutch?
The question now is whether they can keep their intensity and discipline and repeat their 2022 performances – they were good value to win in normal time – for one final push.
The World No 1 Netherlands are vying for their ninth title in the World Cup’s 15 editions. They have reached the last seven finals.
Argentina have beaten the Dutch in two of their three World Cup final meetings.
They lost the competition’s first in 1974, before Las Leonas prevailed in 2002 and 2010 in Rosario, when a double from Carla Rebecchi and Noel Barrionuevo secured a 3-1 victory.
Tale of the tape
Netherlands last 10 matches against Argentina, stretching back to the 2016 Olympic Games (The Dutch won the two most recent games in a Pro League shoot-out):
D(W) D(W) W WLW W W W W
Goals at #HWC2022:
Agustina Gorzelany heads into the final as the World Cup’s leading scorer, with seven, thanks to her corner missiles and flicks. Maria Granatto and Frederique Matla have three apiece.
Argentina: 4 yellow, 4 green
Netherlands: 8 green
What they say
“We have been consistent. We were good against Belgium at times, but we had deep dips. That had to be done better and it worked. If our level is good, we are better than any opponent.”
“The reality is that this is enjoyed by all the people, we are locals here thanks to the people who came. We are proving that wherever we go we are local.”
What else to note?
This will be Succi’s last game for Argentina before retirement, while Marloes Keetels will be playing her final game in Oranje colours.
We’re not sure just yet if this will be Eva de Goede’s swansong in Oranje, too. The oldest player on the team at 33, the Dutch great returns to a World Cup final seven months after tearing her ACL.
BRONZE MEDAL MATCH
Australia must rank as favourites to take bronze against Germany on Sunday. The Hockeyroos will be out to atone for their fourth place finish at London 2018, while Germany will have to summon the energy gods to deliver a repeat of their oh-so-close semi-final with Argentina.
Germany haven’t beaten Australia in normal time since 2010. They have recorded one shoot-out win after a World League final draw in 2015, while Australia have won eight of nine in that time.