The Dutch hockey players qualified for the semi-finals of the European Championships in Antwerp on Wednesday. The team of national coach Alyson Annan assured himself of a place in the last four by beating Russia with double digits: 14-0.
The Orange squad played a draw against Belgium (1-1) and Spain (1-1) in the first two group matches, the worst European Championship start since 1991. Nevertheless, the defending champion still had it in his own hand, because with a win with two goals difference against Russia was the team anyway sure of a place in the last four.
The formation of Annan in Antwerp immediately went from the turn in search of goals. That offensive already gave the lead in the first minute through a penalty ball that was used by Eva de Goede.
Even before half time, the Netherlands raised the score against weak Russia to 5-0. Lauren Stam doubled the margin from a penalty corner, De Goede made her second goal of the game moments later and Caia van Maasakker and Marloes Keetels also found the goal from a penalty corner.
In the third quarter, Van Maasakker again scored from a penalty corner and Marijn Veen and Kelly Jonker were also accurate. Lidewij Welten extended the lead in the final quarter with two goals to 10-0, after which Margot van Geffen, Jonker, Veen and Frédérque Matla also scored.
With the win, the Dutch only lost one goal for the record victory in a European Championship, which was booked against Belgium in 1999 (15-0). That record is shared with Germany, which in 1995 also won 15-0 against Belgium.
Caia van Maasakker and Eva de Goede celebrate one of the hits. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Orange awaiting Belgium-Spain result for group win
Due to the resounding victory over Russia, the Orange team finishes on five points in group A. Host country Belgium and Spain will play against each other later on Wednesday and will also score five points in the event of a tie. In that case, the target balance is important for the group profit.
The winner of group A will face Germany in the final four next Friday. The other half final battle then goes between the number two in group A and England.
The Netherlands has already been European champion nine times and is therefore once again the top favorite for the title. An Olympic ticket is ready for the winner of the European Championship.