BHUBANESWAR: The Netherlands gave a record 14-0 lesson to debutants Chile on Thursday to become the first team to qualify for the FIH World Cup quarter-finals here at the Kalinga Stadium.
The victorious Dutch team in the process topped pool ‘C’. It was the biggest-ever margin of defeat in the World Cup, bettering Australia’s 12-0 hammering of South Africa in the 2010 edition held in New Delhi.
The goal-fest began in the seventh minute with Jip Janssen converting the first penalty corner of the match.
The Netherlands earned two more through the first quarter but Chile defended well. The Chileans were at their best in the first 15 minutes, crowding their circle to thwart the Dutch. But that was what they could do as Holland, apparently warmed up enough, got down to business.
Four goals in eight minutes, three penalty corners and 61 per cent possession in the opposition half underlined their superiority at half-time. It only got better for the Dutch – and exponentially worse for Chile — who added six goals in the third quarter and three in the fourth, Teun Beins putting Holland’s 17th penalty corner into the roof for the new record in the 49th minute.
In the other pool ‘C’ match staged in Bhubaneswar on Thursday, Malaysia upturned their form to upset New Zealand 3-2 and finish second in the pool.
Tied on points, Malaysia started aggressively, making their intentions clear with a penalty corner in the seventh minute. But it took the slightest touch from Faizal Saari to Shello Silverius’s hit to put the Asians ahead two minutes later.
Malaysia’s victory was orchestrated and executed by their experienced trio of Saari, captain Marhan Jalil and veteran Razie Rahim — leading the attack, midfield and defence, respectively. They set the bar for the younger players, especially, Jalil, who constantly kept the passage to the front open with incisive passes for Malaysia to lead 1-0 at half time.
New Zealand were unable to breach a disciplined defence for three-quarters of the game. It was only in the final 15 minutes that the Black Sticks showed more urgency, scoring two goals in as many minutes — Sam Lane scoring the second for the 2500th World Cup goal — to level scores. But with New Zealand putting all their energies upfront, an absent defence meant Saari had all the time in the world to put it through goalkeeper Dominic Dixon’s legs three minutes from time.
Earlier on Thursday, hosts India beat Wales 4-2 in their final pool ‘D’ match to finish second in the pool at the same venue.
Midfielder Shamsher Singh (22nd), Akashdeep Singh (33rd, 46th) and Indian captain Harmanpreet Singh (60th) scored the goals for India while Gareth Furlong (43rd) and Jacob Draper (45th) netted for World Cup debutants Wales.
India will now play New Zealand, who came third in pool ‘C’, for a place in the quarter-finals in the crossovers.
Also on Thursday, England beat Spain 4-0 to pip India for the top spot in pool ‘D’ and qualified directly for the quarter-finals.
As per the format of the World Cup, four pool winners (A, B,C and D) advance to the quarter-finals while the teams finishing second and third in their pools will play crossover matches to claim the remaining four quarter-final spots.
Notably, England and India played out a goalless draw on Sunday but won their other two matches to finish equal on seven points. However, England finished with a better goal difference of plus-9 compared to India’s plus-4. Spain finished third in pool ‘D’ and will play pool ‘C’ runners-up Malaysia for a spot in the last eight.
Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2023