The Dutch women capitalized on a flat start by the hosting Leonas to score three in opening half to secure a 3-1 victory. Pien Dicke had her name on the opening two goals with an assist and goal in the opening 10 minutes. A lone penalty corner through Agustina Gorzelany came before half time and despite chances, that was it for Argentina execution.

On the men’s side, two expert drag flicks for Argentina ultimately allowed them to tie the Dutch 2-2 to force a shootout. The Leones went 4-for-4 against Maurits Visser to seal the bonus point in the game despite the Dutch leading twice through regular time.

Argentina vs Netherlands (women & men) – Santiago del Estero, Argentina

A battle between the hockey giants of Argentina and Netherlands women ended in favour of the Dutch, 3-1. Both teams battled through intense heat as extended breaks between quarters were required to help manage player fatigue.

Pien Dicke’s quick turn on a penalty corner rebound made it 1-0 as the Dutch were able to score just moments after the Leonas ­­­tanked a penalty corner chance of their own. Joosje Burg made it 2-0 with a brilliant reception across her body and a sly finish underneath Argentina keeper Cristina Cosentino. The Leonas seemed to lack their usual flair and flash on the pitch while the Dutch did well to close down all gaps in the middle of the pitch.

Yibbi Jansen’s flick over Cosentino’s right shoulder made it 3-0 for the Netherlands in the 20th minute and the Leonas continued to struggle to find any rhythm. A good steal in midfield allowed a run from Delfina Thome to challenge Dutch keeper Josine Koning. The ball bounced favourably for Agustina Albertarrio, whose shot beat Koning but a video referral overturned the goal. Frustration continued to mount for Argentina as seconds later Eugenia Trinchinetti was sent off with a yellow card for a breakdown tackle and the Leonas’ climb got even steeper.

Jimena Cedres drew a penalty corner just before half time to give the home fans some hope. On a re-award, Agustina Gorzelany was able to slot a low flick past Koning to make it just 3-1 for the Netherlands into half time.

Solid running out from Maria Verschoor denied a penalty corner flick from Gorzelany in the opening minutes of the third quarter. The break seemed to spark a refreshed Leonas side. Argentina were now generating chances including Milagros Fernandez nearly capitalizing on an errant pass from Lidewij Welten but the striker couldn’t muster the shot. Moments later Trinchinetti weathered a hard stick challenge from de Waard and the resulting penalty corner option sailed just under the diving stick of Maria Granatto.

More penalty corner chances ensued for the Leonas but the Dutch continued to close the space down before Koning was neeeded. It was a flat final quarter where both teams seemed off their usual precision and pace. Felice Albers nearly deflected in a Welten pass to widen the gap but the early damage was all the same to give the Dutch the three points and a 3-1 win.

“The first half was very good, scoring some nice goals. I think the second half was less but we are happy with the win,” said Joosje Burg, Player of the Game.

The men’s side was much more of a fan favourite as Argentina came away with a 4-1 shootout victory over the Dutch after an exciting 2-2 tie in regular time. Maico Casella’s 100th international was celebrated in style as his tying drag flick late in the fourth forced the shootout.

The opening quarter featured a majority of possession for the Oranje but the scoring opportunities were generated in the other end. Chances fell for both Tomas Domene and Martin Ferreiro to keep Dutch netminder Maurits Visser busy but it remained scoreless after the first.

Tomas Santiago was finally put to work in the second quarter as he contended with back-to-back shots after a Thierry Brinkman solo demonstration. The first goal finally came off a Jorrit Croon free hit that was bouncing into the Argentine circle for Tjep Hoedemakers to get the final touch on for the 1-0 lead.  

In the third quarter the Leones were able to find a response through a penalty corner. Nicolas della Torre finished brilliantly into the top of the goal for a fabulous 1-1 tie. Before the end of the quarter the Dutch were able to retake the lead. Jip Janssen executed a rocket of a drag flick inside the post to make it 2-1.

In the 56th minute Lucas Toscani’s quick hands forced the Dutch to concede a penalty corner. Casella ripped a drag flick stick side high to level the game and ultimately force a shootout.

Toscani managed to just slide the ball under Dutch keeper Visser in the opening shootout, while Croon’s back-hand attempt went wide. Bautista Capurro made it 2-0 after a quick finish over Visser’s right pad. Brinkman was denied twice by Santiago in his eight-second attempt, leaving Domene to undress Visser to spread Argentina’s lead to three. Jonas de Geus finished on the back-hand to get the Netherlands on the board but it was Ferreiro’s shoulder fake and finish that sealed the game with a 4-1 shootout for the bonus point.

Player of the Game della Torre said after the match: “I think it was, in the first half, it was a very difficult game. They are such a great team but we played well with the ball and in the crucial moments were able to get the penalty corners to win the game in the end.”

Netherlands’ Brinkman commented: “We need to learn what we need to do in the end period of the game. We were in front and it’s not necessary to give the penalty corner in the fourth quarter. We have to defend better. Our own mistakes are crucial in that last period and that was the problem. We could have scored more goals today and hopefully it’s better in two days.”

Pro League action continues in Argentina as the Netherlands take a break and the hosts will play Great Britain again on 15 December.

FIH Pro League – 14 December 2022

Santiago del Estero, Argentina (ARG)

Result: Women’s Match 8

Argentina 1, Netherlands 3

Player of the Game: Joosje Burg (NED)

Umpires: Laurine Delforge (BEL),  Ayanna McClean (TTO), Maggie Giddens (USA-reserve), Sean Rapaport (RSA-video)  

Result: Men’s Match 14

Argentina 2, Netherlands 2 (4-1 Shootout)

Player of the Match: Nicolas della Torre (ARG)

Umpires: Federico Garcia (URU), Sean Rapaport (RSA), Ayanna McClean (TTO-reserve), Maggie Giddens (USA-video)


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