Hockey players battle past Australia to reach World Cup finals for 7th time in a row | Now

The Netherlands advanced to the final of the World Cup of Hockey on Saturday in Terraza, Spain. Jamilan Mulders won the semi-final by defeating Australia 1-0.

Just before the end of the third quarter, Frédérique Matla scored the only goal in a moderately packed Estadi Olímpic de Terrassa. Den Bosch’s attacker convincingly dragged the penalty corner against the board.

After Matla’s opening goal, the Netherlands were out of trouble and the result sent the reigning Olympic, world and European champions into a World Cup final for the seventh time in a row. The Netherlands won gold in the last two tournaments.

The Netherlands have won three of the last six World Cup finals, including one at ADO Den Haag (in 2014). This year, the Netherlands played all their matches up to the quarter-finals on home soil, but the semi-finals and finals will be held in Spain.

Mulders’ formation will play in Sunday’s final against Argentina or Germany. The semi-final between the two countries will be played at Terraza later on Saturday.

The Netherlands faced a tough challenge against the Australian team.


The Netherlands faced a tough challenge against the Australian team.

The Netherlands faced a tough challenge against the Australian team.

Photo: AP

Johnson closes in on the opening goal

The match between the Netherlands and Australia is a repeat of the semi-final four years ago. The match resulted in a tense battle which was decided in favor of the Netherlands after a 1-1 draw in regular time.

This edition of Netherlands-Australia also resulted in an even battle. In the first two quarters, the Netherlands had the ball, but chances were few and far between. Felice Albers and Lidewij Weldon created danger with their dribbles over the backline, but both attackers missed a teammate in front of goal.

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The best goal effort in the first two quarters came off the stick of penalty corner specialist Yippy Johnson. The SCHC player sought the right corner towards the end of the second quarter, where his effort was handled by Australian linestop Renee Taylor.

Frédérique Matla scored the winning goal.


Frédérique Matla scored the winning goal.

Frédérique Matla scored the winning goal.

Photo: AP

Matla scored a free kick

After the break, the picture of the game remained unchanged as the Netherlands continued to hunt for the opening goal. The defending champions earned five penalty corners in a row in the opening stages, but the corner was not consistent throughout the match and did not convert at first attempts.

It was still scored on the eleventh penalty corner. Matla successfully conceded Australia’s second goal of the World Cup. For Matla, it was his third goal of the tournament after two silver-plated penalties in the group stage.

With a minute to play, Australia got a penalty corner and scored the equaliser, but Taylor couldn’t get past keeper Anne Weinend, thanks to a good run by Weldon.

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