In the European Championships, hockey players prefer shape over opponent

“Hanging! Swinging!” Max Caldas, the Dutch hockey coach, wants to see the hits. The most the best. For this reason, with a score of 5-0, the Argentine called up his attackers at the Wagner Stadium in Amstelveen not to withdraw, but to continue to put pressure on the Wales defense. When the attack fails, Caldas, visibly angry, snatches a water bottle from the fence.

In the end, Billy Packer was sixth and the most talked about goal with eight seconds left. It is not the beauty of a stuttering target that appeals to the imagination, it is its consequences that matter. by

6-0, the Orange team will play as the group winner in tomorrow’s semi-final against Belgium, the world champions. With Packer wasted, England, one of the world’s top players in men’s hockey, will be the contender.

Caldas, who led his 100th match with the national team, was satisfied with the result. “I am as happy with Becker’s goal as with the other five. You can never score enough as a team in a match.”

attack patterns

Before the match, Caldas announced that his players are not on his mind. The goal of the match was to score goals, recharge your energies with confidence after a draw against Germany and improve the attack patterns discussed. Ban the question of who will be the most suitable opponent in the semi-finals, Belgium or England. After all, the audience also wants goals and entertainment.

His approach proved successful in the first quarter. Mirco Pruyser and Jeroen Hertzberger were both accurate in no time. The nearly 3,500 spectators present had yet to unfold when Thijs van Dam increased the score once again. It was until the end of the first half against the British opponent, who did not have a single point left from his first two matches.

Caldas decided to warn his players in the dressing room. He wanted more energy and enthusiasm on the field. “As an athlete, you should never play in form. This is dangerous in the tournament. Form does not turn you on or off. That is not how it works. If you slack off, you are a bullshit player, with all the consequences.”

Eight seconds before time

Immediately after the break, Breweser put his foot back on the accelerator: 4-0. After a penalty kick by Jeb Jansen, Robert Kimberman turned the rebounding ball into the fifth goal. The group win was within reach. Or did the Dutch national team prefer not to?

It seemed like that for a while. All kinds of opportunities were eliminated, from big to small. Until Packer put an end to all speculation with eight seconds before the end.

A week and a half ago, the Netherlands will play Belgium in the semi-finals tomorrow. In Antwerp, it was the last match in the professional league, and soon it will become a place in the final in the European Championship. Caldas can’t wait. “Nice poster, right? These are the matches we want to play as a team.”

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