Wednesday, February 21, 2024

‘Best game of our lives’: Netherlands women win Junior Hockey World Cup

Mikki Roberts announced herself on the world stage as the next gen in penalty corner prowess as the Netherlands women lifted the Junior World Cup title.

Roberts converted a setpiece brace in Santiago as the Dutch rallied from two goals down against Argentina to take the final into a shoot-out, all four normal time goals scored via PCs. Meanwhile, Belgium thrashed England 7-0 to earn bronze.

Zoe Diaz and Valentina Raposo’s goals had put Argentina up by 2-0 in the first half.

Dutch keeper Sophia Ter Kuile showed her calmness as she saved the first two shoot-outs while her team-mates converted all four chances that they got.

“When we went inside the dressing after being 2-0 down, we were still confident that we can win this,” said player of the match Roberts. “Everyone came out strong and gave their best. Probably we all have played one of the best games of our lives.”

Meanwhile, Belgium finished third with a comprehensive win over England, who had already felt the full impact of another European heavyweight in their 8-1 thumping by the Dutch in the semi-final.

Astrid Bonami starred for Belgium with five goals to her name and finished highest goal scorer of the tournament with 11 goals.

“What an amazing team, what an amazing tournament! There are no better feelings than to finish at the podium of a World Cup. We are happy with how we performed as a unit,” said Bonami.

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