A goal each from Freeke Moes and Yibbi Jansen in the opening half gave the Netherlandsw women the 2-1 victory over Great Britain in Santiago del Estero, Argentina. The game marked the 100th international for Great Britain’s Amy Costello.
On the men’s side, two goals from Zachary Wallace propelled Great Britain to a 3-0 win over the Netherlands.
Great Britain vs Netherlands (women & men) – Santiago del Estero, Argentina
A lightened Netherlands women’s lineup faced off with Great Britain on neutral territory in Argentina and the Dutch came away with a 2-1 victory. The two teams last met at the 2020 Olympic Games semifinal and while in both encounters the Dutch, tonight it was credit to a resilient defensive unit back-stopped by Maddie Hinch and Sabbie Heesh, who split duties in the Great Britain net.
It was a milestone game for 24-year-old Amy Costello who celebrated her 100th international cap that includes 67 games with Scotland, while Fiona Crackles celebrated her 50th split between England and Great Britain.
In the opening quarter, a long run by Maria Verschoor led to two saves from Heesh, in goal for Great Britain, but Freeke Moes made good of the uncontested space and rebound to make it 1-0 for the Netherlands just eight minutes into the game. Against the flow Great Britain were able find an equalizer after a Sophie Hamilton shot was redirected by Isabelle Petter to catch Josine Koning caught on her line. It didn’t take long for the Dutch to regain control of the game as Yibbi Jansen’s class-act drag flick made it 2-1 in the 18th minute. Moes drew a third penalty corner late in the second quarter but the subbed-in Hinch denied Jansen’s flick and then a blast from Marente Barensten.
Great Britain had a chance to draw level after Hamilton found the foot of Dutch midfielder Barensten with seven seconds to go. The flick from Grace Balsdon was steered away by the glove of Koning to keep the game in favour of the Netherlands at half time.
Hinch was called to duty a number of times in the fourth quarter but when Felice Albers’ pass found Mariyn Veen, it was a next level save to deny the Dutch. Moments later Hinch was helped by Giselle Ansley on the post who batted away another Jansen drag flick.
While the score line could have easily been more, it was nonetheless three point for the Netherlands to kick off this December mini-series of Pro League games.
Player of the match Xan de Waard, of the Netherlands, said after the match: “I think it was a bit messy and it was very hot today, of course, but we did well. We needed to score a few more goals to make it easier for us but it was a deserved win and I’m looking forward to (the next game).”
“This is our first game as GB since the Tokyo Olympics, that’s 18 months ago, so we knew it wasn’t going to be perfect,” said Great Britain skipper Hollie Pearne-Webb. “I think tonight it was just the first game, getting back up to speed and playing with players who haven’t played together in quite some time. It was a good introduction back but there’s lots to work on and lots to learn ahead of our next game against Argentina.”
In the men’s match up the first half seemed destined for a scoreless affair as both Great Britain and the Netherlands traded possession and chances.
Zachary Wallace broke the deadlock for Great Britain in the 28th minute as he capitalized on a very quick free hit down the middle of the pitch. Wallace streaked right in to the circle and unleashed a back-hand shot that beat Pirmin Blaak low, glove side. With 15 seconds to go in the second quarter, Rupert Shipperley made quick work of his defender and fed Phil Roper, whose sliding touch made it 2-0 for Great Britain.
The Dutch edged in possession in the first half but the third quarter showed a lot more possession strides for Great Britain. Late in the third quarter patient ball movement around the Dutch circle gave Jack Waller a blast at goal was brilliantly deflected by Sam Ward but stood up by Blaak. The second shot from Roper hit the foot of Jip Janssen on the line to give GB a penalty stroke. Wallace finished with class from the spot to secure the third and eventual final goal.
“It was our first match as a team since the Tokyo Olympics and then for a lot of us since the Commonwealth Games,” said Great Britain’s Zacharay Wallace. “We didn’t really know where we were as a team so we have been training hard the last few months so it was nice to see whether all the hard work and training paid off.”
Dutch captain Thierry Brinkman said after the game: “It was a heavy game for us. In the first half they didn’t create that many chances, maybe five circle penetrations but two goals. For us, it wasn’t good enough, not aggressive enough, so hopefully better for us tomorrow.”
Up next in Argentina, the hosts will play Great Britain women and men on 14 December.
FIH Pro League – 13 December 2022
Santiago del Estero, Argentina (ARG)
Result: Women’s Match 7
Great Britain 1, Netherlands 2
Player of the Game: Xan de Waard (NED)
Umpires: Laurine Delforge (BEL), Maggie Giddens (USA), Federico Garcia (URU-reserve), Ayanna McClean (TTO-video)
Result: Men’s Match 13
Great Britain 3, Netherlands 0
Player of the Match: Zachary Wallace (GBR)
Umpires: Federico Garcia (URU), Sean Rapaport (RSA), Ayanna McClean (TTO-reserve), Laurine Delforge (BEL-video)
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