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Hockey: Dutch down Korea, Argentina beat China in World League Final pools

20131203_World-League-Final_NED-KOR1

The Netherlands (in orange) went 3-0 up in the first half against Korea before the Asia Cup runners-up pulled a goal back in the second half. Photos: FIH / Frank-Uijlenbroek.

December 4, 2013: Korea lost 3-1 to Olympic champions Netherlands on Tuesday as the dominant Dutch finished top of Pool A with three wins at the inaugural FIH Hockey World League Final in San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina.

 

England then beat Germany 3-1 to finish second in the pool, while Korea finished third on goal difference, having picked up their only point in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Germany.

 

China also finished third in their group after a 3-1 loss to hosts Argentina in Tuesday’s final match, with Australia topping Pool B after powering to an impressive 5-1 triumph over New Zealand in a typically feisty Oceania derby match.

 

China will face England in the third of the quarter-finals on Thursday, before Korea face hosts Argentina in the day’s final match. Netherlands play New Zealand in the day’s opener before Australia tackle Germany.

 

Australia topped Pool B after an impressive 5-1 win over Oceania rivals New Zealand.

Australia topped Pool B after an impressive 5-1 win over Oceania rivals New Zealand.

Korea will need to recover quickly after being overwhelmed by a devastating display by the Netherlands, especially during a sensational first 20 minutes.

 

The Dutch went 2-0 up inside the opening five minutes after Lidewij Welten drilled a strike through the legs of keeper Jang Soo-ji before Kitty van Male slammed home a penalty-corner rebound to leave the Asia Cup runners-up shell-shocked.

 

Welten claimed her second of the game with a perfectly angled deflection in the 16th minute, a scoreline that more than reflected the one-sided nature of the contest, with Netherlands keeper Joyce Sombroek rarely tested.

 

Korea made a brighter start to the second half and began to put the Dutch defence under serious pressure, with attacker Cheon Eun-bi forcing Sombroek into action with a backhand strike.

 

However, the Oranje remained in firm control and came close to adding to their tally with a blocked penalty corner effort from captain Maartje Paumen and two fine efforts from the lively Ellen Hoog.

 

Korea pulled a goal back seven minutes from the end when the 21-year-old Cheon brilliantly controlled a raised pass before dispatching her shot into the bottom-right corner.

 

Source: FIH

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