For the first time in 37 years, Dutch hockey players have not even reached the semi-finals of the Olympic Games. The Netherlands managed to hold off against Australia in the game. A 2-2 tie after four quarters resulted in a penalty shootout. The Orange missed their three shots on goal one by one and after that it was not necessary as the Australians managed to strike again and again. After five moderate group matches and a good quarter-final, it’s over for the Oranges.
The group stage matches were mediocre in terms of play, but good enough to advance to the quarter-finals. The lost match against Germany (3-1) meant that Max Caldas’ men had to play in the quarter-finals against Australia, world number one.
Australia had a strong group stage, but played their weakest game against the Netherlands. They won 5-3 over Japan, 7-1 over India, 5-2 over Argentina and 4-2 over New Zealand. The only game that was drawn was the 1-1 against Spain. For the Orangemen, it was exactly the opposite. The Netherlands had weak early matches, but against the Australians they played their best game.
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The first half was even the better half of the tournament. Still, the men lost 1-0 after five minutes. But given the game, there was certainly no reason to panic.
Jeroen Hertzberger could not prevent the hockey gentlemen from losing to Belgium.
Photo: Getty Images
The third trimester has started well. After a minute, the Netherlands got a penalty corner, which equalized the score. The remainder of the third quarter was entirely for the Netherlands, but with seven minutes to go the Australians still managed to take a 2-1 lead, thanks to Wickham’s second goal. The Netherlands had a great chance to level up, but the score remained unchanged.
The fourth quarter also started well for the Dutch. After five minutes, the referee awarded a penalty corner to the Orange. The video referee took a long time to review the incident, but did not reverse the decision. Jeroen Hertzberger remained calm and made it 2-2.
The best game of the tournament ended in a tie and the decision had to be taken by penalty shootout. Hertzberger was the first to try for the Netherlands, but missed out. He tried it through the video referee because he would have touched his stick. The video reference just didn’t go with that thought.
The Australians managed to do the first. Kemperman and De Geus failed to find the goal, so the deficit quickly became too large. Because the world number one struck three times, it was over for Caldas’ men.
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