National coach Alyson Annan emphasizes that the Dutch hockey players had to go deep to conquer the European title.

The Orange squad, which is by far the best team in the world, became European champion in Amstelveen on Sunday without losing a European Championship match at the expense of Germany.

"We should not assume that everything is easy," Annan said afterwards to the



"We work hard to be the number one in the world and win this tournament. When we lose, everyone says we play badly. And when we win, everyone says it's easy. But it's not like that."

The hockey players were under pressure against Germany for a long time on Sunday.

After Marloes Keetels' opening goal from a penalty corner variant, goalkeeper Josine Koning prevented Germany from equalizing with some fine saves, after which Frédérique Matla secured the European title with the 2-0 just before time.

"We had to work hard for it, it wasn't easy," Annan acknowledged.

"If we had finished our chances better, we would have finished this final earlier. But we need these difficult games towards the Olympics. I am happy with what we did today."

Eva de Goede carries the European title after the victory over Germany in the European Championship final.

Eva de Goede carries the European title after the victory over Germany in the European Championship final.

Photo: ANP

De Goede: 'These are goosebumps moments'

Captain Eva de Goede acknowledged that the Netherlands struggled with the form towards the Olympic Games at the European Championships.

"We always want to be at our very best, but you also don't want to peak too early," De Goede told the



"We are very busy with those Olympics. It was always a challenge for us to go full throttle, but we did. It's okay that some things don't work now. There were some cosmetic flaws, but we have a gold medal and can calmly work towards the Olympics."

To everyone's surprise, 32-year-old De Goede recovered from a wrist fracture in time at the European Championships.

"I would not have dared to dream this when it happened. These are goosebumps moments. It is so special to be here. We will not experience it at the Games later. Playing in front of a home crowd is the best thing there is."

See also: Hockey players extend European title with victory over Germany