After the painful semifinal defeat, the young Netherlands side overpowered Australia in a 3-1 win to seal a World Cup bronze medal. Having gone a goal down here in the opening half at the Kalinga Stadium on Sunday, the young side recovered to show they wanted it more. “We are a young team and we want something. You really need to show in these kind of games,” Jorrit Croon, the Dutch attacking midfielder said after the game.
The Netherlands dominated possession from the start, not allowing Australia time on the ball but went behind in the first quarter. But for the second game in a row, Australia went on to lose, despite taking the lead. Skipper Thierry Briknman helped complete the second half revival with two goals in the space of five minutes.
The Kookaburras scored through Jeremy Hayward, the tournament’s prolific drag-flicker, when he found the target in his first try by firing the ball into the bottom right corner. The Netherlands, however, restricted them to only three penalty corners in the game.
When the teams came out for the second half, the Dutch improved with their passing and pinned the Aussies into their own half with their high line. They had a flurry of penalty corners and Jip Janssen, Netherlands’ potent flicker, managed to find a way through when his powerful flick was deflected by the the first runner Tim Brand and into the top corner, giving Andrew Charter no chance.
Two minutes later, the Aussies failed to clear their lines inside the circle allowing Brinkman and Floris Wortelboer to dispossess them, and the loose ball was slotted in by the former. Brinkman found himself on the scoresheet again after a superb run on the left by Thijs van Dam. Van Dam’s pass was touched on the first time by Tjep Joedemakers and Brinkman swivelled to flick the ball home.
The Netherlands were down to 10-men for the final eight minutes after van Dam’s yellow card gave Australia some hope. But it failed to test Pirmin Blaak, while the Dutch had a goal chalked out for impeding Charter at the other end.
When the final hooter went off, the Netherlands celebrated another podium finish, while Australia will go home empty-handed in a World Cup for the first time since 1998.