Jorrit Croon was in tears on Thursday after he had shot the Netherlands to the final of the European Hockey Championship in Amstelveen with the decisive shoot-out.

Defending champion Belgium was thus kicked out of the tournament.

"My grandfather passed away this week, so this one is for him and for my grandmother," the 22-year-old player told


his emotions afterwards.

"But besides that I am of course very happy with the win and the final."

In the compelling game in the Wagener Stadium it was 2-2 after regular time, so shoot-outs had to make the decision.

There too, the differences were small, but after both teams had missed twice, Croon made the difference.

"I knew I would take the last shoot-out, but because of all the interventions of the video referee it took and lasted. I did have a plan in my head how I wanted to take it and luckily it worked out well."

Croon also pointed out the role of the public, which helped the Orange over the dead center when the team fell behind twice.

"The whole stadium went crazy. Maybe a bit against the rules, but that really helped us through it."

Pirmin Blaak and Jorrit Croon helped the Netherlands to win the shoot-outs.

Pirmin Blaak and Jorrit Croon helped the Netherlands to win the shoot-outs.

Photo: ANP

Blaak: 'An account is still open against Germany'

Keeper Pirmin Blaak was the other protagonist at Orange with his crucial saves in the shoot-out series.

"The interaction with the shoot-out takers is fantastic," he praised his teammates.

"If they take them right, I can take more risks."

Precisely the Germans, against whom a 2-0 lead was lost in the group stage (2-2), are the opponents in the final on Saturday.

"We still have an open account with Germany," says Blaak.

"So I'm looking forward to that game."

The final of the European Hockey Championships starts on Saturday at 12.30 p.m.

Orange can then take a top prize in their own country for the first time since the European title in 2017.

See also: Hockey players win after blistering shoot-outs from Belgium and are in the European Championship final