The Oranje Dames Zaal started the World Cup in Pretoria with a monster victory over New Zealand. National coach Kristiaan Timman’s side, big favorites for the final victory, spared nothing for the World Cup debutant, especially after the break and eventually triumphed 10-0. Donja Zwinkels scored five of the ten goals.
The difference couldn’t be greater. Nearly two months after losing the European Championship final to indoor hockey superpower Germany, Orange now faced New Zealand in the packed Heartfelt Arena, who were playing their first-ever European Cup match. world. THE black sticks doesn’t even feature in the World Indoor Hockey Rankings, which presaged a tough afternoon against the hot favorite for the world title.
The fact that it was only 4-0 for Orange after the first two quarters can actually be called a miracle. Orange immediately pinned the opponent in their own circle with high pressing. Thanks to two goals from captain Donja Zwinkels, who was working on her very last tournament as an indoor international, the Orange took a 2-0 lead in nine minutes. New Zealand then retreated far back and literally closed in on its own circle. This required a lot of patience and precision from Orange along the way.
Zwinkels, Van ‘t Hoog and Brands (penalty corner against the crossbar) had good chances to take the margin to all-time highs in the first quarter but lacked sharpness in the finish. Lieke van Wijk hadn’t yet set her sights either when she was allowed to tie up for a penalty after a foul on Noor de Baat. His effort was easily deflected by New Zealand goalkeeper Madeleine Williamson.
Van Wijk made up for this mistake in the second quarter by dragging a penalty corner hard against the ropes (3-0), a cannonball they would be jealous of on the nearby military base in Pretoria. When Elin van Erk scored beautifully shortly after (4-0) after a fine combination via Lieke van Wijk and Mabel Brands on the right, Orange finally seemed free and relaxed.
This actually turned out to be the case after the break. Two more goals from Zwinkels, a striking penalty corner from Mabel Brands (a superb right shot from the keeper) and the first goal of the tournament from Eva van ‘t Hoog quickly made it 8-0 against the poor women New Zealanders, who could only enter the Dutch circle three times in total. At all of these moments, Orange closing post Alexandra Heerbaart skillfully saved.
Heerbaart gave way to second goalkeeper Kiki Gunneman at 8-0, who, like Van ‘t Hoog, also managed to make her first tournament minutes. In the 37th minute she saw from inside her circle how Zwinkels scored her fifth goal of the afternoon in majestic fashion: after a long pass from Lieke van Wijk she pushed almost perfectly from the corner of the field in front of the stunned Georgia Mayo, who after two quarters Williamson had replaced under the crossbar. A goal gem.
With five goals in a World Cup game, Zwinkels equaled the orange record of Denise Admiraal, who scored five times against South Africa in the 2015 World Cup (14-0). The Orange captain took her tournament tally in the hall to thirty goals in 34 games. She is just four goals short of replacing Janneke Schopman as the Oranje Dames Zaal’s all-time top scorer at the European and World Cups. Zwinkels’ teammate Lieke van Wijk is also aiming for that record.
In the dying minutes of the game, the only question was whether Orange could top off their double-digit dominance: they finally succeeded via Van ‘t Hoog, who pushed from the cannon after individual action. 10-0 and a desired and expected start from the Oranje Dames en route to the first main prize in the hall since the 2016 European Championship in Minsk.
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