The Netherlands ensured their place in the semi-finals after a goal-fest in their last pool B match thumping South Africa 7-1 at the Hockey World Cup in the Hague on Sunday evening. The hosts displayed a sense of urgency from the word go trying to navigate through South Africa’s stubborn defence to ensure their fourth win and amassing a substantial goal advantage over the other teams in the pool. Seve Van Ass drove a shot past the Lads’ goalkeeper, Erasmus Pieterse, after a good cross from Robbert Kemperman to open up the lead.
The Dutch were back in the 10th minute to double the lead through Valentin Verga’s reverse stickshot, as a result of another great Kemperman set-up. When the South Africans attempted to dismantle the Oranje’s defence in response, the home team capitilised on opened spaces for counter-attacks and they scored twice more before half-time. Jeroen Hertzberger scored from the penalty and Kemperman netted his first goal.
The Orange mounted more pressure in the second half and secured two more goals in quick succession, making the score 6-0. In the 38th minute Kemperman netted his second goal meanwhile Billy Bakker netted his first in the 41st minute. The South Africans did not sit back and watch but looked for some kind of redemption.
Lloyd Norris-Jones witnessed his shot forcing Dutch goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann to make a save. The fighting spirit paid off in the 61st minute when Justin Reid-Ross’ third penalty corner flew into the top corner to put the South Africans on the scoreboard. Dutchman Sander Baart drilled home the last goal of the night to make it 7-1 in the 64th minute.
The result leaves the Netherlands top of Pool B, courtesy of a better goal rate than Argentina, and South Africa are bottom with just one point.